Universo Card is now more inclusive and sustainable, thanks to partnership with Mastercard

February 22, 2023 | Lisbon, Portugal
Universo Card is now made with sustainable materials
To facilitate the use by blind and visually impaired people, Universo Card adopts Mastercard's Touch Card pattern, with a notch on the side that helps consumers use the right card, the right way, by touch alone

Universo Sonae customers will now have access to a more sustainable and inclusive card which has been launched in partnership with Mastercard.

The innovative card is designed with Mastercard’s Touch Card feature, which uses a notch to bring security, inclusivity and independence to blind and partially sighted cardholders. The card also includes a tactile varnish over the logo, making it easier to recognise as a Universo card.

Additionally, the new cards are made from recycled plastic, and display the universal recycling symbol.

Touch Card was launched by Mastercard in 2021 with the aim of providing the more than 2.2 billion blind and visually impaired people around the world with greater financial independence. The simple and innovative tactile notches allow the cardholder to quickly identify which payment card they are using with just a touch - rounded for debit, squared for credit and triangular for prepaid.

Carlos Braziel David, Chief Operating Officer of Universo Sonae, states;
"This is one more step in our commitment to sustainability and inclusion of all customers. Every day we work towards making a difference to the financial needs in people's lives, whilst not turning a blind eye to the major social and environmental issues that concern us all. It is for this very reason that we have made changes to the production of our cards, and launched to market a card that offers two extremely relevant and differentiating measures that are more inclusive and more environmentally positive."

Maria Antónia Saldanha, Country Manager of Mastercard in Portugal says;
"Just as they are for Universo, inclusion and sustainability are embedded in the heart of our business. With one in seven people experiencing some form of disability it is essential that we design these products to facilitate accessibility and provide equal opportunities to ensure that no one is left behind.

"Consumers are also increasingly aware of their own actions on the environment. A study conducted by Mastercard found that 75% of Portuguese are concerned about reducing their carbon footprint. Our partnership with Universo will play a significant role in reducing the environmental impact of cards, which are now produced with recycled materials."

Commitment to sustainability

To date, more than 330 financial institutions in more than 83 countries around the world have issued Mastercard cards made from recycled, recyclable and bio-sourced materials. Mastercard also created the first directory of sustainable card suppliers and materials to make sustainable choice the preferred option for all financial institutions.

This initiative represents a multi-year effort to launch Mastercard's global certification scheme for approved sustainable cards, and builds on the Greener Payments Partnership (GPP) which was formed to establish environmental best practices and reduce first-use PVC plastic in card manufacturing.  

Mastercard's Global DigiSec Lab in the UK has also invested in technology that analyses the material composition of a card so customers can be assured that any card sourced from a sustainable material has been independently assessed and verified.

Media Contacts

Universo Sonae

With the mission of providing solutions that simplify its customers' financial lives, Universo aims to provide innovative and relevant solutions in everyday life, helping the Portuguese in their budget management.

About Mastercard (NYSE: MA)

Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.  

Follow us on X (formerly Twitter) @MastercardEU and @MastercardNews, read more about our global impact in Perspectives, and subscribe for the latest news from the Mastercard Newsroom.