Present on stage at the Future Banking Summit, Mihai Cismasiu-Buda, Director, Sales, Data & Services, Romania, Croatia, Bulgaria, Israel, Mastercard, stated the most important trends we witness today in the volatile economic environment that affects the financial industry as well.
Mihai said that Mastercard noticed two directions in the payment segment. “One thing is that people are still doing transactions, they didn’t cut the expenses. Secondly, because of the inflation, we're seeing a small increase in average tickets.”
The Mastercard’s official mentioned that looking ahead to 2023, the company will continuously try to make transactions secure and bring them from cash to card and grow the infrastructure, incentivizing the transactions to happen so that business can go further.
Because of this volatile environment, Mastercard helps other businesses to thrive and grow.
”We have a think tank, Mastercard Institute, that does macroeconomic analyses and recommendations, which are complementary to what banks do through their economists. All the data that the banks are gathering, we are analyzing, and we give that data to our partners because we know patterns, we know whether the clients are spending normally or not.”
Mastercard’s vision of the global situation
Mihai Cismasiu-Buda said that the company reacted globally, regionally, and locally to what is happening right now, near us, in Ukraine.
Globally, they stop transactions in Russia and enforced all the measures taken by the international regulatory authorities.
“Regionally, we had a lot of initiatives across all the countries that are next to Ukraine to welcome and facilitate the economic transition of these refugees, so they can easily change money and use their cards in Romania and other countries.”
At the local level, Mastercard had evacuation plans for the team in Ukraine and Russia and offer them options to relocate and support them.
Going further, Mastercard’s representative mentioned its company approach to one hot topic, cybersecurity.
“What we do for our partners is to provide cybersecurity solutions that are not necessarily connected to cards, because we are not a card company, Mastercard is a technology company. Therefore, we offer cybersecurity solutions, we do stress tests, and we have a product that gives you a monetary equivalent of your cybersecurity threats you can put a price tag on your efforts and understand it.”
Another important topic for Mastercard is building a sustainable future, especially in the financial service industry.
“Sustainability for us is not just environment, it means everything that makes life sustainable including the eradication of poverty, education, human rights, and so on. Mastercard does more on this topic. We are being recognized as one of the most sustainable companies in the world in numerous rankings. We push sustainable products because we have plastic cards, but we are trying to become digital first, digital only and have cards on your phone and use it for payments. If one needs a card, we move from plastic cards to recycled plastic or other materials like wood. We also help our client define their own strategy in terms of sustainability. We’ve had numerous projects as consultants in CEE where we advised our clients on their sustainability strategy and not just payments and retail but we’ve done projects for the entire sustainability strategy of a bank including mortgages, savings, investments.”
Mihai told the Future Banking Summit audience that Mastercard also has Labs, a tech division where more than 200 persons do prototypes of different products, from EV charging to other tech applications and ways to implement them for clients.
“The strategy of Mastercard is to enable any kind of transactions and we started with payments but we are transitioning to enable digital transactions on wearables, phones, you name it. And Romania has a great infrastructure on this side and we are very proud to support it and grow it further.”
Future Banking Summit is organized by futurebanking. ro. This year our partners were: Mastercard, UniCredit Bank, ING Bank România, Raiffeisen Bank, Infocert, FintechOS, Inform Lykos, iFactor, AriadNext, Namirial, Filip&Company, BCR, First Bank, Citi Romania, enfineo, Oney Romania, Mokka, Credex, Certsign, Salarium, ProCredit Bank, Autonom și Magnolia.ro. Supporting partner: Asociația Română de Fintech (RoFin.tech).
Photo credits: Ovidiu Udrescu