MasterCard Turns Its Focus to Millennials
MasterCard’s Chief Financial Officer Martina Hund-Mejean said the company is turning its attention to Millennials. This generation of adults is making a shift from debit cards to credit cards, and MasterCard is hoping to capitalize on that.
Hund-Mejean told The Wall Street Journal that Millennials have become more financially confident over the last few years, particularly in their ability to maintain a budget. Their research shows that “Millennials want to have more discipline when it comes to money management and want more control over spending.
MasterCard is responding by enhancing their online and mobile money management tools. Millennials can manage multiple MasterCard accounts through the World Elite credit card platform and can instantly redeem rewards points through Pay With Rewards.
MasterCard is also working on ways to merge mobile and physical payments. The goal is to allow Millennials to use the same payment method whether they are in a store or shopping online. Their research indicates “nearly 60% of millennials in the U.S. would like to be able to make payments by scanning their smartphone.”
Hund-Mejean says the biggest obstacle for the mobile payments market is the “chicken and the egg” effect. Consumers of all ages (but mostly Millennials) will adopt mobile payments as merchants make them more readily available, and merchants will make them more available when more consumers start to use them. This is a slow process at first, but MasterCard is confident that it will “pick up steam.”
MasterCard’s CFO also remarked on the transition to a cashless society or lack thereof. Visa recently launched a campaign to reward small businesses for going cashless, offering up to $10,000 for up to 50 businesses that eliminate cash payments from their establishments. Hund-Mejean says there will never truly be a “cash free” world, no matter how much effort goes into card and mobile payments. “Even though one of our vision statements is ‘a world beyond cash,’ there will always be cash in countries for certain things. The grandmother will want to give a bill to her 10-year-old grandson and not have the parents know about it.”