Green Finance, Payments

CarbonPay launches payment card to help businesses automatically offset their carbon footprint

  • Sustainability-focused fintech CarbonPay has launched its first product, a prepaid corporate card offering.
  • CarbonPay wants to create products that enable organizations of all sizes to reach their climate goals.

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CarbonPay launches payment card to help businesses automatically offset their carbon footprint

Climate change has become a serious point of discussion in board rooms around the world – and some fintech firms are starting to make the move towards sustainability. CarbonPay, a sustainability-focused fintech, just released its first product, CarbonPay Business Ctrl — a prepaid corporate card offering.

“The product is designed for companies looking to live their corporate green goals without participating in corporate greenwashing,” CarbonPay CEO Rory Spurway told Tearsheet.

The firm claims that for every $1.50 or £1 spent using its products, it offsets 1 kg of CO2 at no extra cost. Their service is currently only available in the US and the UK.

What does CarbonPay Business Ctrl do?

CarbonPay Business Ctrl runs at the front of a company business account. Once a business signs up with CarbonPay for the prepaid card, they get access to a business account, which is supported by a dashboard to help administrators. From that dashboard, firms can set individual card limits for their entire team. Since the card doesn't have a credit element to it, firms don't need to worry about credit checks, interest rates, or payment due dates. CarbonPay also doesn't have any minimum spend requirements.

CarbonPay Business Ctrl can be integrated directly into major accounting platforms, making expense management simpler with digital receipt capture and automated reconciliation. 

CarbonPay has also partnered with sustainability-as-a-service platform Ecolytiq, which allows businesses to track the carbon footprint left by their spending. Clients have access to a custom dashboard, giving all cardholders visibility over the environmental impact, which enables employees to be more engaged in their company's green goals.

“We wanted to present our first offering to all businesses with the least barriers to entry as possible, in order to make the biggest impact. Therefore, we chose to launch our prepaid corporate card first,” Spurway said. 

CarbonPay aimed for simplicity and transparency when devising a pricing plan, and designed it to be scalable as the business grows. Clients can add a custom number of people to their plans, paying $5 or £5 per month per cardholder, without any add-ons. This subscription fee model also grants clients access to CarbonPay’s smart features, which include automatic offsetting, carbon footprint tracking data, integration with accounting software, expense management, and a custom online dashboard.

CarbonPay’s prepaid card is powered by Visa and Stripe.

How’s the market responding?

Over the past few years, we’ve seen an increase in companies pursuing green goals and wanting to improve their impact on the climate. However, we wonder how ready the market is for a product like CarbonPay’s, and how the firm is going about selling it.

“There are climate ‘experts’ everywhere sharing how our actions are affecting the planet we live on, but many offer complex solutions. Some businesses are looking for impactful solutions, whilst others are looking for simple options, and others do not know where to start," Spurway said. "No matter where businesses are in their sustainability journey, we have a simple solution that is accessible to all businesses to take action automatically."

Many businesses are being pressured by key stakeholders to present their sustainability targets and plans to reach net-zero: regulators require it, investors are expecting it, employees are favoring it, and consumers are demanding it. For this reason, CarbonPay has reported some early success in the current marketplace with both SMBs and larger corporates.

Two factors about CarbonPay Business Ctrl, the firm says, have come forth as favorable by prospective clients: the simplicity of its operations, and the difference it can make for their overall sustainability efforts. While Spurway refrained from naming any client in particular, we did learn that the firm is beginning to onboard SMBs.

Now that the firm’s launched its first product in the US and UK, it plans to parallel-patch that offering to other countries in EMEA and APAC.

The CarbonPay mission, and what’s next

"The fight against climate change can't be solved by a handful of people – it requires systemic change and for everyone to take action," said Spurway. "That's what inspired us to create CarbonPay. We turn every transaction into meaningful climate action by automatically offsetting CO2 every time you pay. It's a simple but important step towards making a real difference."

CarbonPay’s goal is to support a sustainable economy where individuals and businesses play their part in tackling climate change by integrating climate action into their payments. On the user-facing end, the firm runs a variety of payment vehicles — like physical cards, Apple Pay and Google Pay compatible digital cards, virtual cards, and lodge cards — built separately for professional and personal use cases. On the back end, the firm partners with climate action organizations, funneling funds to support their projects around the world. In effect, every time a consumer transacts using a CarbonPay card, they make a contribution to its partner climate action organizations. 

CarbonPay has partnered with ClimateCare and SeaTrees, two organizations that finance, develop, and manage sustainability projects globally. ClimateCare aims to achieve 1 billion tons of carbon reductions by 2030. Similarly, SeaTrees seeks to offset carbon from the climate by reforesting oceans, and it planted its one-millionth tree in 2021.

CarbonPay has also partnered with StripeClimate, through which it funds technology initiatives geared towards removing carbon from the atmosphere. Additionally, the firm is a member of '1% for the Planet', pledging to donate 1% of annual sales to support nonprofit organizations focused on the environment.

CarbonPay has offices in New York and London. Following the release of its first product, the firm plans to grow its team. "Before the end of 2022, we will be adding 100+ new team members in the US and Europe to expedite growth and our ability to scale B2B and B2C products globally,” Spurway said.

Following the launch of Business Ctrl prepaid, CarbonPay has two more offerings in the works — a business charge card, and personal card offerings. Both products are expected to be released in the coming months.

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