CI VentureClash winner inks Mastercard deal


PHOTO | Contributed
PHOTO | Contributed
Brent Ho-Young, CEO of Dream Payments, based in Toronto and Stamford.
Dream Payments, a Toronto-based digital payment provider for insurers that won Connecticut Innovations' VentureClash challenge in 2016 and set up a Stamford beachhead, said Tuesday it is partnering with Mastercard in a deal aimed at ensuring insurance customers get paid more quickly.

As part of the partnership, insurance companies will use Mastercard's "Mastercard Send" digital platform and Dream Payments' cloud-based digital payment service in international markets to secure and speed up payments to their customers, according to Mastercard and Dream Payments CEO Brent Ho-Young.

Dream Payments' service enables insurers to collect premiums and disburse funds digitally to their customers and suppliers. Mastercard Send works with banks, businesses, digital players, governments and money transfer services to disburse payments globally.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, except that Northbridge Financial, a Fairfax insurance provider in Toronto, Ontario, will be the first insurer to use the system.

According to Mastercard and Ho-Yong, the collaboration "will allow insurance companies to digitize and automate claims disbursements, replacing the friction associated with printing, sorting, and mailing of checks, with the speed and efficiency of digital payments."

Formed in 2014 in Toronto, Dream Payments won Connecticut Innovations' (CI) 2016 top VentureClash prize, and used the $1.5 million CI provided to open its U.S. headquarters in a four-person office in Stamford in early 2017, said Ho-Young.

The fintech firm is interested in the U.S. and global markets, as well as expanding the company's Connecticut workforce, he said.

"CI was helpful getting us in front of some of the larger insurers and financial institutions in Connecticut and the Northeast and all across the country," said Ho-Young. "That support from Connecticut really opened our eyes to Connecticut as a great place to build a financial and insurance focused technology business in the U.S. There's no better place to be for insurance, I believe, than in Connecticut."