What Does MasterCard Have to Do with CrowdSharing?
It’s really brilliant – MasterCard – how they are a great facilitator of economic progress.
So, what does this have to do with CrowdSharing?
First, you need to understand what CrowdSharing is all about.
CrowdSharing is a really new phenomenon that has just begun to take hold around the world to help level the economic playing field in the poorest as well as the richest nations on Earth.
To further clarify, I want to point out the differences between CrowdSharing and other significant ‘crowd’ related terms, ‘CrowdSourcing’ and ‘CrowdFunding’.
You might have encountered ‘CrowdSourcing’ in your reading travels, where a ‘crowd’ or a vast number of people or resources are called upon for needed assistance or information for a stated goal. CrowdSourcing is not usually associated with fund raising.
A notable example of CrowdSourcing is Wikipedia , an internet based repository of knowledge, dependent for it’s existence and evolution on the ‘credible’ information resources of thousands of people. Other examples include the Open Source Initiative where Open source software is made by many people, and distributed under licenses that comply with the Open Source Definition – the software can be freely used, changed, and shared (in modified or unmodified form) by anyone.
CrowdFunding has often been in the news in the past few years and is seriously challenging more conventional forms of investment. It usually involves a more specific request where the ‘crowd’ – targeted through the internet – is solicited for financial contributions to a particular venture or cause. It could be almost anything, from a student trying to raise money to pay off his or her student loan, to a new technology for faster space travel, or a cure for cancer.
CrowdFunding’s purpose is obviously to quickly raise funds from the masses for a fairly specific project. Contributors may be strictly philanthropists expecting nothing in return, or venture capitalists wanting a ‘piece of the action!’
So that brings us back to CrowdSharing – a term which so far eludes a commonly accepted definition (Google, Merriam-Webster, dictionary.com, etc.) – here’s mine:
‘an activity involving a mass of disparate goals of individual members of the crowd, outside of a generalized desire to benefit everyone’s well being in some collective way’.
The elements of the ‘crowd’ can be corporations, individual people, organizations of people with aligned goals – all sharing in some way to achieve something for everyone.
Imagine how this crowd and over 7 billion other people and groups all over the globe can be interconnected ‘ instantly’ to communicate and interchange assets, with everyone’s well being – the common goal!
It’s possible – it’s happening now – with advanced technologies like blockchain, digital bitcoin currencies, wireless and backbone communications protocols, human interface information and control devices, and powerful server application platforms.
So, where does MasterCard come in here?
It’s companies like MasterCard and their Partners who are in the forefront of these developments.
I recently published an article entitled, CrowdSharing Breaks Down Barriers to Riches – Part 1 , in which I describe my sense of CrowdSharing in more detail. Future parts of this series will elaborate on some of the technologies and software platforms that have been developed to facilitate the goals of CrowdSharing participants. Hop on board my newsletter in the right sidebar to be notified and follow these articles as soon as they are posted here.
Meanwhile, let’s explore MasterCard and see where they fit.
Let’s talk about MasterCard:
- who they are,
- how they are performing,
- what are their core objectives,
- some of the features they offer in their payment solutions,
- their philanthropy, the MasterCard Foundation,
- how they are innovating with Master Code their Enterprise Partners, and then,
- what’s up with CrowdSharing?
Who is MasterCard?
MasterCard (MasterCard Incorporated or MasterCard WorldWide) is an American multinational financial services corporation with assets of US$ 16.26 billion (2015 – Wikipedia).
Since the owners issued an initial public offering (IPO ) in April, 2006, MasterCard has been a publicly traded company, identified as ‘MA’, on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
Before 2006, MasterCard was owned by a cooperative of banks. Now, in 2016, their share, according to President and CEO Ajay Banga, is less than 2%.
During his ‘View From The Top’ talk at Stanford Graduate School of Business, MasterCard’s Ajay Banga emphasized the importance of communication, taking risks, learning from everyone around you, and surrounding yourself with people who think differently than you do. He also discussed why innovation is “mission critical” in the payments industry. (Recorded April 24, 2014)
Ajay indicated in this video that it was MasterCard’s mission to take aim at the 75% of the world’s population that was still conducting business in cash in 2014 – and to leverage with other technology innovators to bring about a change to fast, secure, and economical electronic payments processing.
He also spoke about his role as CEO to correct popular misconceptions about MasterCard, that it was no longer a puppet of the banks since its IPO in 2006, it doesn’t issue credit or debit cards, and it holds no personal information about card users in its database.
Ajay Banga stressed that MasterCard is all about technology infrastructure which is the ‘railroad’ for global electronic payments.
How Does MasterCard Perform Financially and Rate Competitively?
MasterCard’s net 2015 net income was reported to be $US 3.80 billion. Their market capitalization in August, 2016 was $US 105.5 billion.
According to creditcards.com statistics , in 2014, MasterCard ranked first among card networks (MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover) for card circulation outside the US, and second inside the US. In the same year, their card purchase volume market share in the US was about 23.3%.
In 2015, MasterCard’s branded cards accounted for 9% of 18.08 billion payment cards in circulation worldwide — after private label (34%), UnionPay (30%), and Visa (16%). ( The Nilson Report )
What is MasterCard’s Core Purpose?
Today, MasterCard is very much a technology and data company.
They are not a bank and they do not issue credit or debit cards – the banks do.
Their purpose is to develop technology and to harness it to process payments between the banks of merchants and the issuing banks of the purchasers who use the MasterCard brand debit and credit cards to make purchases and transfer funds.
What About MasterCard’s Security?
Safety and security are top priorities with MasterCard.
They are constantly researching, leveraging and incorporating new technologies to create newer safer services, devices and payment methods. Their goal is to ensure the safety of billions of electronic payments wherever and whenever they occur. MasterCard is securing the entire payments ecosystem with EMV, end-to-end encryption, tokenization and authentication.
MasterCard provides advanced security features like SecureCode® for Online Shopping and Zero Liability protection against fraud.
MasterCard SecureCode® is a private code for your MasterCard account that you use when you’re shopping online.
Once you’ve registered and created your own private SecureCode, you are automatically prompted by your financial institution at checkout to provide your SecureCode each time you make a purchase with a participating online merchant. Your SecureCode is quickly confirmed by your financial institution and then your purchase is completed. Your SecureCode is never shared with the merchant. It’s comparable to using your PIN at an ATM.
MasterCard also takes great care in protecting its customers against fraud.
As a MasterCard cardholder, Zero Liability applies to purchases made in the store, over the telephone, online, or via a mobile device and ATM transactions. The financial institution that issued your MasterCard won’t hold you responsible for unauthorized use as long as you have taken reasonable care in safeguarding your card and your Personal Identification Number (PIN), and you report the loss or theft of your card immediately after becoming aware of it to your financial institution.
The MasterCard foundation
The MasterCard Foundation was formed in 2006 when MasterCard issued their Initial Public Offering. At that time, 12% of the initial shares were set side for the Foundation – establishing a US$ 12 billion copas, poised to increase in value as the company grew and did well. (Ajay Banga, ‘View From The Top’ talk at Stanford Graduate School of Business, April 24, 2014)
It’s the second largest foundation in the world, next to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation .
Here is their philosophy:
The MasterCard Foundation seeks a world where everyone has the opportunity to learn and prosper.
All people, no matter their starting point in life, should have an equal chance to succeed. We believe that with access to education, financial services, and skills training, people can have that chance.
Our focus is helping economically disadvantaged young people in Africa find opportunities to move themselves, their families and their communities out of poverty to a better life.
MasterCard strives to help people by “doing well and doing good at the same time”.
MasterCard and Innovation – Technology Partners
Innovation is at the root of MasterCard’s corporate culture. They are constantly seeking the knowledge and skills of others to leverage their own corporate expertise to move forward with a ‘never quit’ attitude and with their lofty goals firmly in mind.
They do this with programs like ‘Masters of Code’ and their Enterprise Partnerships.
MasterCard ‘Masters of Code’
Sponsored and hosted by MasterCard, the Masters of Code competition is a series of weekend-long hackathons that bring together the world’s top developers, designers and entrepreneurs to take on the MasterCard APIs. Using these APIs, developers have access to unsurpassed assets, data and products from MasterCard focused on powering commerce on a global scale. The participating teams compete to create innovative prototypes that demonstrate artful coding and design skills while also articulating clear business use cases – all focused on driving the next generation of commerce applications.
MasterCard ‘Enterprise Partnerships’
One of the most strategic partnerships within the MasterCard Enterprise Partnerships program is with Syniverse .
Syniverse is a global leader in mobile interoperability, mobile communications and mobile expertise. They connect over 5 billion subscribers over nearly all of the mobile networks in the world.
Syniverse is just one of many companies that MasterCard collaborates with under their Enterprise Partner program to exploit new technologies and develop virtually unlimited applications.
Other partnerships include:
- Cubic – making mobile devices the remote control for global cities
- Masabi – mobile ticketing for a more connected transit experience
- SFX – transforming the electronic dance music experience
- eNett – innovation in B2B payments
- Basware – working capital optimization
- and many more …
MasterCard and CrowdSharing
I’ve shown you a bit about MasterCard, their mission, their philanthropy, their expertise in technology and the payments space, and their partnership programs.
They have spent over 50 years connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in over 210 countries and 150 currencies and they know how to apply their technology using cards and mobile phones.
MasterCard develops their core technology and makes it available to other partners – also entrepreneurs and innovators – in the form of software APIs – ways of layering new applications on top of what’s already been proven to work very well.
CrowdSharing needs to connect people and share assets – make instant, secure and direct payments peer-to-peer (card to card) – anywhere in the world – all within the context of a powerful software platform.
There is another partner of MasterCard, American Standard Wallet , that has applied MasterCard’s software APIs to the development of their own mobile debit card applications for ‘safe’ merchant purchases, instant card to card money transfers, scanned cheque deposits, voice recognition PIN authentication and other features for transactions that are critical to the success of CrowdSharing.
You can find out more about this in a recent article:
So, MasterCard is in fact a proponent of CrowdSharing by virtue of the payment systems network technology infrastructure that they have developed and shared with their partners.
Read more about CrowdSharing software platforms that have been recently developed and some of which incorporate MasterCard’s core technologies and networks:
I hope that you have enjoyed this brief update on MasterCard’s technology ventures and how they will impact the new CrowdSharing world.
All the best,