MasterCard set to transform payments tech worldwide

By Madhvi Mavadiya | 19 January 2016

The start of this year has been eventful for payments network MasterCard as the company has been involved in a number of dealings in the fintech industry worldwide and this is just the start of the many big developments that we can expect from MasterCard in 2016.

In an interview with The Japan Times, co-president of MasterCard’s Asia Pacific region, Ling Hai, highlighted how the future is fintech. “I see fintech as an area of continued growth and development. You’ll see a lot of investment from venture capital and other firms into this area as well,” and this is something that has been prevalent recently, especially with companies like MasterCard.

With the intention of expanding its electronic payments network in other countries, MasterCard heavily invests in fintech and organises a six month fintech startup mentoring program called Start Path where emerging digital commerce stars are accelerated. Successes from this program include the Tokyo based startup application Moneytree that allows financial account balances to be tracked.

The Asian fintech market is exploding at the moment as Hai explained in The Japan Times that there will be a lot of experimentation to expect in the near future as MasterCard is a “technology company”, as opposed to a payments company. Hai also explored how Japan presented a huge potential for growth as credit cards and other electronic forms of payment were not as popular in this country in comparison to the West.

Because of MasterCard operating by charging credit card issuers to use its global network, the idea may appeal to Japan, although, as of March 2014, credit transactions only accounted for 15.6% of all transactions in the country that year, according to the Japan Consumer Credit Association.

It was also reported that MasterCard approved a new payment solution to be created entirely on the cloud. Gemalto, the digital security firm is the first mobile payment vendor to do this and could transform how we see transactions altogether as the service will be available on server platforms and mobile phone payment software.

Senior vice president of mobile financial services at Gemalto, Jean-Claude Deturche, said that mobile payments will become more popular in the future. “The consumer lifestyle is increasingly defined by the ubiquitous smart phones and tablets and there’s an ever-growing appetite for secure mobile payment.”

Despite Gemalto being based in Amsterdam, MasterCard has also made an impact on the digital payments industry in Canada with the agreement made late last week with Desjardins Group, which will allow the company to issue credit cards, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The WSJ also reported how this is also extraordinary news for MasterCard as it makes the payment network the only global network to be offered by all of Canada’s major financial institutions. “With all the major Canadian financial institutions, we’ve now got a foothold and a partnership of some sort,” president of MasterCard’s Canadian unit, Brian Lang said.

In addition to this, Caroline Lavallée, director of Desjardins Card and Payment Services, believes that offering Visa and MasterCard will be beneficial for the customers. “By offering our members and clients credit cards from two payment networks, one of which is MasterCard, we’re helping them take advantage of the unique benefits of each network.”

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