World Retail Voice Blog Post
An interview with Ann Cairns, MasterCard
As President of International Markets, Ann Cairns travels all over the world to visit private and public clients alike. MasterCard is a leading consumer brand and global technology stock with around two billion cards in the market and are rapidly moving into the mobile space.
What sets MasterCard apart from its competitors?
MasterCard is the leading payments technology company with true global interoperability for our partners and cardholders. In over 210 countries our technology delivers seamless and secure payments and drives the world’s fastest payment processing network by connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses. MasterCard’s suite of solutions, including innovative payments, such a MasterPass and MDES, the technological foundation of new solutions like Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, give our cardholders great shopping and payment experiences, regardless of whether they shop online or in a store.
Many aspects of retail are becoming digital, how will MasterCard adapt to these advancements, such as mobile pay?
MasterCard has been digital for many years as plastic cards are really only the physical embodiment of our digital network. We expect there will be 2.6 billion smartphone users worldwide by 2018 and mobile phone and tablet users will make 195 billion mobile commerce transactions annually by 2019. MasterCard is developing the payment tools of the future to meet the needs of retailers, issuers and cardholders regardless of how or where they shop or make a payment. The financially excluded are at serious risk of being left behind by technology and regulation. Almost half the world’s population does not have a bank account or proper access to credit, insurance or any other form of financial service. Our focus is to include these people to ensure greater equality through better products that help them participate in the global economy, for instance via e- and m-commerce.
The new cloud-based payment system links mobile phones and tablet computers to banks – how will this affect the retailer?
Online and in-store buying are converging because of consumer adoption of new devices and increased real-time connectivity. E- and m-commerce are offering retailers opportunities not available up until a few years ago. For example, the customer journey is mixing channels in a single purchase. Consumers can review a product online, and purchase it offline later or they can window-shop in a brick-and-mortar store and then complete the purchase online.
By only focusing on one channel or by not integrating channels at all, retailers are at risk of disconnecting with their customers and losing revenue in an environment where a competing retailer is just a click away. Retailers are not only challenged by the need to be able to operate through multiple channels but to integrate all their channels for a smooth customer experience. Understanding the omni-consumer through data and insights will allow retailers of all sizes to enhance the shopper’s experiences in both the physical and digital worlds.
How will the evolving payment trends affect consumers, will mobile payment improve shopping experience?
Evolving payments technology provides consumers with greater choice and convenience, allowing retailers to offer the same shopping experience to their customers regardless of where they shop. As brick-and-mortar stores are increasingly online, they want their customers to have the same experience in store. MasterCard is catering to this integrated approach. A great example is minimising the need to regularly type in the customer 16-digit card number by introducing virtual wallets, such as MasterPass, or removing reliance on passwords through biometric technologies. As devices change so should the experience and we are working to ensure that the payment experience is simple and secure whether it takes place in a physical store or at an online merchant.
How does MasterCard ensure the safety element of mobile pay, both for retailers and their customers?
We know that safety and security are top priorities for our customers, cardholders, merchants and other partners and we are constantly working to develop new and better ways to keep payments safe. The payment experience is already supercharged with security and as technology and devices change and payment methods evolve we continuously innovate to ensure the safety of billions of electronic payments wherever and whenever they occur.
By using MasterCard customers benefit from purchase guarantees and protection against unauthorised payments. We also screen 1.8 bln transactions each month to detect anomalies in spending patterns which could signal fraud. We leverage new technologies to further safeguard payments, including biometric authentication such as fingerprint, voice and facial recognition for payments. We build systems and tools that constantly check transactions and safeguard data. A great example of this is the work around the use of the geo-location technology in smart phones to help authenticate mobile payments.
Originally produced by Congress media partner, Europe Real Estate