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Green retail banking products: A growing imperative

In the financial sector, banks and other financial institutions are facing growing pressure from consumers, investors, regulators and competitors to make sustainability a higher priority.

Learn more about the global sustainable banking landscape and get the latest insights into consumer awareness of and interest in sustainable payment card products in our latest Market Trends report.

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Green retail banking products: a growing imperative image

It is no longer enough for businesses to show concern for the environment: Sustainability is becoming a key priority

  • Nearly 3/4 of the world’s largest 250 companies now have targets in place to reduce their carbon emissions1.

  • While 2/3 of CEOs admit compliance is a driver for pursuing sustainability commitments, 80% believe they provide a competitive advantage2.

Consumers have a desire to protect the planet – and they expect the same commitment from companies they patronize:

  • The amount donated to environmentally focused charities grew almost 50% globally in Q1 2022 vs Q1 20193

  • Financial services customers are willing to pay 30% more for products and services that are environmentally sustainable, the highest of any sector4

  • 1 in 4 customers choose their bank based on environmental and social track recordsv

Want to learn more about sustainability? Enroll in our Introduction to ESG, our interactive Learning Lab course exclusively on Market Trends, to find out what ESG is and why it has become so important.

Green retail banking products: a growing image 2

The financial services sector has been slow to adopt sustainable practices. Nevertheless, despite emerging economic and political headwinds, consumer sentiment towards sustainability action is still strengthening, driven by:

But sustainability is not just about complying with evolving regulations and stakeholder expectations. It is fast becoming an important growth opportunity and competitive advantage for financial institutions.

Want to learn more about leading startups offering ‘green banking’ solutions? Our Start Path platform on Market Trends gives you access to full profiles and registered webinars with startups and emerging fintechs with proven sustainability expertise, including: 

How can financial institutions develop and implement a successful ESG strategy?


Analyze ESG expectations of relevant stakeholders


Design ESG strategies and implementation roadmap around payments and retail banking products


Identify opportunities and assess the competitive landscape to define ESG initiatives


Implement priority sustainability strategies effectively and efficiently

Green retail banking products: a growing

Mastercard’s latest global consumer research identified three categories of best practice sustainability-focused payment card product features:

Tracking and monitoring

Tracking and monitoring

  • Carbon impact calculator

  • Sustainability calculator

  • Sustainable shopping recommendations

Donations and rewards

Donations and rewards

  • Cashback and discounts at sustainable businesses

  • Donations for sustainable activities, such as tree planting and carbon offsetting

Physical attributes

Physical attributes

  • Cards made from sustainable materials

  • Digital-first cards

  • Card recycling

KPMG. ‘Survey of Sustainability Reporting,’ 2022.
Arthur D. Little. ‘2023 CEO Insights,’ 2023.
Mastercard Economics Institute. ‘Aggregated and anonymized transactions made to charities within the Mastercard network,’ 2022.
Statista. ‘Average sustainability premium consumers would consider acceptable and be willing to pay worldwide,’ 2023.
Insider Intelligence. ‘Spotlight: Sustainable Banking,’ 2022.
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