Mastercard Expands Business with Practices Focused on Crypto, Open Banking, ESG

The business sector is facing an influx of innovation: changing consumer behavior and preferences, digital transformation as well as geopolitical shifts.

In order to assist businesses with evolving and supporting their growth enterprise-wide, Mastercard (NYSE: MA) announced that it is expanding its payments-focused consulting service with  practices focused on Open Banking, Open Data, Crypto & Digital Currencies, and Environment, Social & Governance (ESG).

For over 20 years, consulting has been a major part of Mastercard’s client engagements, whether designing multi-rail payments strategies or advising on data governance opportunities.

Mastercard’s Data & Services includes over 2,000 data scientists, engineers and consultants, serving clients in 70 different countries across the globe. As part of growth plans, Data & Services—a talent incubator for the broader company—is “expanding its team at pace, including the addition of more than 500 college graduates and young professionals.”

Raj Seshadri, President of Data & Services, Mastercard. stated:

“Payments are just the beginning. Over the past 20 years, we’ve worked with our customers across banking, fintech, retail, travel and other sectors, helping them understand and navigate every challenge and opportunity thrown their way. This evolution of consulting is in recognition of the changing world and of our changing business. It’s about helping customers navigate today’s challenges and anticipating what’s next.”

With these practice groups, Mastercard will be offering an integrated approach that draws on progressive thinking, services and tools and assets—like Ciphertrace, Finicity and Aiia, Cyber Quant and the Priceless Planet Coalition—in order to “drive smarter decisions with better outcomes across a customer’s entire business.”

As noted in the update:

“Open banking puts businesses and consumers at the center of where and how their financial data is used and furthers access to services they want and need. To help businesses maximize open banking opportunities, our consultants use data-driven insights, advisory and product development services, in alignment with Mastercard’s Data Responsibility Principles.”

Mastercard recently worked with an Eastern European banking group looking to offer new services to its consumers. Their team helped them prioritize and “prototype a multi-banking app that allows users to conveniently manage their accounts from different banks.”

The app is now live.

Mastercard’s consulting efforts with banks and merchants “cover a range of digital currency capabilities, from early-stage education, risk assessments and bank-wide crypto and NFT strategy development to crypto cards and the design of crypto loyalty programs.”

As mentioned in the update, Mastercard has curated partnerships with digitally native firms that provide various  solutions in cryptocurrencies, and has “helped fintechs expand into new markets, working through go-to-market planning and commercialization strategies.”

For example, one focus is “helping central banks explore the design and deployment of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) using Mastercard’s testing platform, allowing them to research various scenarios before deployment, and drawing on deep expertise around payment systems, policy and regulation, and governance.”

As noted in the update:

“Consumers are more socially and environmentally conscious of the products and brands they interact with than ever before. Mastercard’s consultants are helping clients better understand what that means for their businesses, and then transform these insights into actionable strategies that bridge purpose and profit.”

For instance, Mastercard and a bank in Latin America teamed up with cardholders to address climate change. The collaborative approach designed by Mastercard “empowered consumers to make a positive impact on the planet by restoring forests through the Priceless Planet Coalition, while also driving card usage.”

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