Product guide: Everything you need to know about Modulr's European card issuing service

Modulr By Modulr on 15 February 2023   •   10 mins read

Learn how Modulr's European card issuing service helps EU businesses to unlock the wide-ranging benefits of cards, more cost effectively than ever before.   


Product summary at a glance: 


What is Modulr's European card issuing service? 

Modulr customers based in Europe can now create, distribute and manage virtual and physical cards across the EU quickly and intuitively, via API.  

What are the benefits of card issuing across Europe? 

While our cards have always been useable in Europe they haven’t, until now, been issued in Europe. This is an important distinction because cards that are issued in Europe are cheaper to use in Europe.  So, by offering the ability to issue cards in Europe, we’re allowing our European customers to unlock the wide-ranging benefits of cards, more cost effectively than ever before.   

Modulr is Europe’s one-stop card solution. With Modulr as the single point of contact for card issuing and control, we remove the historical inefficiencies of the card issuing process and the costs of managing separate stakeholders. There's no complex reconciliation or coordination between multiple partners, instead our customers can leverage our existing relationships and benefit from: 

✔️A Single supplier - Modulr acts as BIN sponsor, manages chargebacks, monitors & processes transactions and is a principal issuing member of both VISA and Mastercard 

✔️ Powerful card controls  

✔️ Unified view of accounts, balances, cards and transactions via an intuitive online portal 

✔️ Fully customisable card design 

✔️ High acceptance  

✔️ Apple and Google Pay availability (coming soon)

✔️ Flexible funding models 

✔️ Efficient reconciliation with unlimited accounts and unique cards for each transaction 

✔️ 24/7 service availability and fulfilment 

✔️API access to the entire Modulr payments technology stack 


Which industries will benefit the most from European card issuing? 

Modulr's European card issuing service can benefit any business that wants to create, distribute and manage cards in the Euro zone, but there are certain industries where it’s set to have a more significant impact: 


Today’s lenders are under pressure to approve applications and disburse loans quickly, but traditional payment processes are slow, inefficient and provide little in the way of control over how funds are spent.  

European lenders can now deliver a first-class lending solution by issuing cards (either virtual or physical) so that they can disburse loans at speed across Europe and reduce operating costs. Borrowers can draw down funds immediately and flexibly, rather than in one lump sum, for improved cashflow management and customer experience. Cost and administrative burden are reduced for the lender as borrowers have full visibility of funds and payments without having to call customer service teams for status updates. Spending restrictions can also be applied, for greater control and the issuing of conditional loans. In short, European lenders can seize an important competitive advantage by delivering a faster, more reliable experience to borrowers across Europe. 

Accounts & Employments Services 

Many employment services organisations and accountants rely on outdated processes to pay employees, contractors or suppliers but it doesn’t have to be that way. Whether you’re an expense management, wage advance or accounts payable or accounts receivable company, embracing a modern platform that allows for European card issuing could save you time and resource and help you deliver a first-class experience. 

Expense Management 

Maintaining control over a company's expense account can be an undertaking. Without clear visibility of real-time cash flow, many in-house finance teams and accountants are challenged with reconciling spend and controlling funds. 

Imagine instead that, when an employee needs to purchase a service or good, they can request a virtual card specifically for the purchase. All purchases can be settled against a single corporate account, with card limits set to match budgets. Unique cards can be created per employee and /or transaction, for added visibility and to aid reporting. While up-to-date information of funds and transactions via API affords a real-time view of cash flow and corporate spend. 

Wage Advance 

Without visibility and insight onto employee spending patterns, many Wage Advance platforms struggle to fulfil their potential and offer the raft of financial products (eg: savings pots) that could make their platform truly indispensable. 

By offering the ability to issue cards (either virtual or physical) for salary advances, Modulr can help European Wage Advance companies to offer a more complete proposition. With increased visibility of employee spend, they can reward good financial habits and expand their product offering to become a one-stop-shop for financial wellbeing. Advances can be made easily and flexibly, when requested, and employees can start spending straight away, without having to transfer funds back to a personal bank account. This innovative solution also allows Wage Advance platforms to provide funds immediately for employees that don’t have a traditional current account. 

Accounts Payable & Accounts Receivable Automation 

European Accounts Payable (AP) and Accounts receivable (AR) automation software platforms looking to provide an expense management offering can now issue virtual or physical cards for specific non-invoice payments across Europe. Unique cards can be created for each employee and /or transaction, with purchases settled against a single corporate account and card limits set to match budgets.  

This innovative solution allows AP/AR platforms to offer their customers a level of visibility of real-time cashflow that they have, until now, only dreamed of. While addressing the difficulties that in-house finance teams and accountants face reconciling spend and controlling funds, and all more cost effectively than ever before. 

FinTech / Alternative Banking 

Without the regulatory permissions to issue cards themselves or the internal bandwidth required to build and manage a cards programme, many European neobanks are simply unable to offer a credible or complete alternative banking proposition.  That is until now. 

The good news is that European FinTechs and challengers can now supercharge their alternative banking proposition by issuing fully customisable virtual and physical cards via a single API connection. With Modulr they can access the very latest in modern issuing features, straight out of the box, including card freezing, real-time spend notifications and smart rules and triggers for each card. This, combined with our payment accounts, direct scheme access, licensing support (we’re a principal issuing member of VISA and Mastercard), chargeback management, physical card manufacturing and transaction monitoring, means that we offer everything a challenger needs to deliver exciting new alternative banking services across Europe. 


Online Travel Agents (OTAs) across the EU are challenged with a complex supplier ecosystem. Factor in the manual nature of traditional travel payments and reconciliation and the result is lengthy and error-prone processes.  The sheer array of different currencies and payment terms makes treasury management difficult, while cashflow constraints mean less capital to invest and interchange erosion has eaten away at profit margins.  

Modulr’s European card issuing service gives European OTAs the ability to issue one-off cards for paying and keeping track of supplier payments. When, for example, an end user books a holiday, the OTA can quickly and easily create virtual cards to purchase the various elements of the travel package from the relevant suppliers such as airlines, hotels etc. OTAs can create unlimited accounts and unique cards per transaction for better reconciliation. And our flexible funding models can be leveraged for optimised cashflow. A range of BIN types are available and OTAs can receive interchange income, all while reducing manual process costs and improving the reconciliation of supplier payments. 

Merchant Services 

Payments are the lifeblood of any business. But today’s merchants face many challenges, including an outdated, fragmented and costly payments infrastructure. Many of the Payment Services Providers (PSPs) and Acquirers serving this market don’t have the regulatory permissions to launch card programmes for their merchant customers, leaving them unable to readily access revenue funds disbursed into their accounts. 

Modulr's European card issuing service offers an efficient way for European PSPs and Acquirers to issue physical or virtual corporate cards to their merchants, through a single API connection. With Modulr as a single supplier for payments and cards, Merchant Services providers can benefit from accounts, licensing support (we’re a principal issuing member of VISA and Mastercard), chargeback management, physical card manufacturing and transaction monitoring. Cards can, in turn, be used by merchants to access sales revenue and to cost effectively pay European suppliers and settle other business expenses in-store or online. Merchants can enjoy quicker access to funds as they’re not required to transfer out revenue settled in their e-money accounts to external bank accounts to be able to spend it, instead they can use Modulr issued cards to pay for business expenses directly. 

Blockchain banking & payments 

The crypto, blockchain and DeFi sector faces unique challenges, not least finding payment providers that understand the demands of the crypto industry or offer the scalable infrastructure needed. Many crypto platforms are challenged with offering the range of payment options consumers expect. Without the regulatory permissions to launch and manage their own card programmes, they are simply unable to offer consumers the ability to spend fiat money directly from their digital crypto accounts. 

With our European card issuing service, we help European crypto platforms to differentiate their proposition with the ability to offer issued virtual and physical cards, giving their customers more ways to spend the funds held with them, without having to withdraw earnings into external bank accounts. Customers can use online cards to make fiat payments, easily switching from cryptocurrencies to EUR before spending online. 

With Modulr as the single supplier for payments and cards, crypto customers can access an end-to-end card programmes through a single API connection: this includes accounts, licensing (we’re a principal issuing member of VISA and Mastercard), chargeback management, physical card manufacturing and transaction monitoring. 

With European card issuing now in our payments arsenal, we can help pan-European crypto platforms to cost effectively deliver a more comprehensive proposition - making them the DeFi platform of choice for the card-loving crypto-curious. 

What type of cards do you currently provide? 

Card types include consumer debit and credit, business debit, business prepaid and business deferred debit, as well as travel industry-specific cards. 

Can Modulr block certain types of transactions?  

Modulr can set up MCC (merchant category code) blocks as desired by our partners. Examples include: 

  • ‘Pay at pump’ for fuel: another significant source of fraud that also settles the full amount later, after the customer has left. 
  •  Gambling and high-risk gaming
  • We can also disallow cash and cash equivalent transactions, if desired 

What limits can I put on the cards? 

There are three types of card limits for maximum flexibility:  

  • Lifetime spend limit – this can be changed at any point via the Modulr API 
  • Per transaction limit – this is set at card creation per currency and is the maximum that can be spent in a single transaction
  • Velocity limit – these apply to all cards on your programme and limit e.g. ATM withdrawals 

How can I manage the Modulr card programme? 

All of the management can be automated through our API. However, as interacting via API isn’t always intuitive, we’ve built a simple back-end portal for your customer support, fraud and operations teams to manage cards, right down to the cardholder level. This includes card freezing and card re-ordering, saving your back-office team valuable time. 

How can Modulr provide European card issuing? 

As an EMI which is licensed and regulated by De Nederlandsche Bank (Relatienummer R182870) as an Electronic Money Institution, Modulr is licensed to passport our card issuing services across the EEA. We are principal issuing members of VISA and Mastercard, allowing us to power the card programmes of our customers.