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Pioneering carbon offset service by creating awareness on carbon dioxide emissions

​Over the years, studies have shown that consumers are becoming increasingly environmentally conscious and want to align with brands that support their values. Card issuers now have an ideal opportunity to raise awareness of the impact of consumption behaviour on the emission of greenhouse gases and allow their customers to take action to mitigate their carbon footprint.

​​Looking at why climate change solutions should be a development priority for financial institutions, it is becoming increasingly obvious that climate change is an urgent global challenge with long-term implications for the sustainable development of any country. To maintain the financial health of economies, financial institutions need to assess their exposure to climate-change related risks and explore new opportunities for revenue growth in a sustainable way. These issues are being felt by banks and their customers alike as public awareness around climate change grows.

However, many carbon offset programmes are caught in a gap between credibility and feasibility, which can weaken environmental protection programmes initiated by financial institutions, losing goodwill and credibility in the eyes of their customers.

With the launch of new solutions enabling customers to take climate action, cardholders and their issuers are now empowered to proactively engage in the fight against negative climate impact caused by personal consumption. Nets’ new solution, Nets Climate Action Service, offers two types of services: one for direct carbon offset and one for investing in sustainable funds provided by the card issuer.

The costs of the carbon dioxide-offsets can be funded by the consumer via transaction round-up, by the issuer, via interchange or other funding sources, by participating merchants via merchant partnerships, or a combination of the above. Users not only see where their contributions are going but they can also choose from a number of projects to which the funds can be applied. 

​​With in-app reports on the total carbon dioxide emissions associated with purchases that they have off-set, customers can see their shopping translated directly into positive environmental impact. According to Nets, card issuers can deploy specific customer engagement strategies by allowing their customers to intuitively self-enrol in carbon offset controls solutions directly from their mobile banking app. These can tie into broader marketing or gamification initiatives, such as generating alerts when milestones are reached – both for positive reinforcement, or as a warning when budgets are breached, or high levels of carbon dioxide occur.

​Author/source: {attribution}

​Tony Bach Christensen is an experienced technology and payments industry expert. As the Product Proposition Partnerships Lead at Nets Issuer & eSecurity Services (IeS), Tony heads off Nets IeS’ partner initiatives for commercial & product development through global and local strategic partnerships.