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Payhawk gains independence in card issuance with new Visa membership

The Bulgarian unicorn was also recently granted an EMI licence by the Bank of Lithuania

Hristo Borisov (centre) / Payhawk co-founders

Hristo Borisov (centre) / Payhawk co-founders

Expense management fintech Payhawk has become a principal member of Visa, letting the company independently issue cards rather than rely on third parties.

Card issuance is a cornerstone of Payhawk’s offering, giving business customers company cards in various currencies and then letting them monitor and manage spending and expense management at scale.

"With our new Visa membership and our recently granted Electronic Money Institution (EMI) licence, one of our top priorities is further expanding our payment options,” Hristo Borisov, CEO of Payhawk said. 

“For example, we currently offer customers the choice between debit and credit cards in some markets, but we want to offer this flexibility to all our clients.”

Visa membership is only granted after an assessment by Visa and is typically reserved for larger financial institutions.

Payhawk hit the headlines last year when it became Bulgaria’s first startup unicorn to be valued at over $1bn when it raised $100m as part of an extended Series B.

Its investors include Lightspeed Venture Partners, Sprints Capital, Endeavour Catalyst, HubSpot Ventures, Jigsaw VC, Greenoaks, QED Partners, and Earlybird Digital East.

Last October Payhawk added credit cards to its offering, giving its customers the choice between smart Visa credit or debit cards.

As well as cards, Payhawk also tackles a host of back-office problems for businesses, including generating reports, bill payments, and invoices, much of which is currently done manually in many organisations.

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