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How The Cards Business Is Transforming

Mobile capabilities, nontraditional competition and new regulations are among the trends reshaping the cards business. What does it mean for the major players -- and for banks?
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Growing Need for Mobile Management

Carlos Menendez
Group Executive, Global Consumer Products, MasterCard Worldwide

Nearly 85% of all transactions around the world are still conducted in cash -- whether in markets where the payments industry is not as developed or in markets where consumers historically are used to paying in cash for everyday items. Either way, our industry has a tremendous opportunity to build value propositions that will move consumers and businesses to electronic "cashless" transactions.

Some of the biggest opportunities are in the global youth and affluent segments. As an increasingly influential group, the youth are leaving cash behind and represent a strong opportunity to capitalize on the growth in e-commerce and mobile commerce with digital wallet systems such as our own MasterPass.

The affluent are also an important growth segment, particularly in Asia, which is heavy with domestic and international travelers whose lifestyle dictates a level of service, convenience and flexibility best delivered by card payments. That is why we have invested in MasterCard Travel Services and the Priceless Cities program to meet all their travel needs and with access to unique experiences in cities around the world.

Looking ahead, we are focusing on smarter solutions to support transactions that are more "cashless":

• Innovations such as display cards showing available balances and rewards, and EMV-enabled combo cards with credit, debit and installment loans all in one product.

• Customized products meeting the demand for segment-based solutions of our issuers and our merchant partners.

• Partnerships with governments and nongovernmental organizations to support the distribution of social benefits and funds for disaster-relief efforts.

All of these efforts contribute to our goal of creating more value for stakeholders and a more efficient "world beyond cash."


Peggy Bresnick Kendler has been a writer for 30 years. She has worked as an editor, publicist and school district technology coordinator. During the past decade, Bresnick Kendler has worked for UBM TechWeb on special financialservices technology-centered ... View Full Bio

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