For Mastercard, The Future is Beyond Plastic

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Mastercard Inc.’s chief financial officer Sachin Mehra opened up about the future plans of the payments processor in a recent interview. The company sees hope in the sunrise sectors of e-commerce and crypto. It looks forward to its expansion. This is in addition to diversifying its existing products and services. The company is well positioned to take on the opportunity with greater penetration of electronic forms of payment. Mehra said, “If you think about it globally, there’s still a ton of cash which remains to be electronified.”

Environmental, Social and Governance Metrics

Interestingly, Mastercard has included ESG metrics to compensate some of its employees. Mehra said, “We think doing well by doing good is an incredibly important part of who we are. With everything we talk about from an ESG, climate, and D&I [diversity and inclusion] standpoint, we’ve got to be sure we put our money where our mouth is.” According to him, the need is to pair financial incentives with effective leadership.

The Crypto World

Mastercard has an all-embracing outlook with respect to crypto. “In the crypto world, we play the role as an on-ramp, with people using our debit and credit products to buy crypto. And we act as the off-ramp: When people want to cash it, we help them gain access to be able to use their crypto balances everywhere Mastercard is accepted. That’s a revenue-generating capability which has been fairly successful ever since crypto environments came up”, he explained. 

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The Journey

Mehra worked at Hess and General Motors across geographies before joining Mastercard in 2010. In 2019, he started his work as CFO. Regarding the expected changes in his role, he said, “What I can see happening is greater emphasis on making sure we are leading on executing, but also failing fast. And that’s where a CFO can play a big role. By that, I mean you’re not always going to win. Hopefully, you’ll get more things right than wrong. But you have to recognize things which are not working out and make sure you actually fail fast on them and get out of them, because you can fall in love with stuff, keep doing it, keep wasting resources to only realize that it’s not going to pay off. And I think the emphasis around that is going to only increase for CFOs in a scarce capital resource environment.”


 

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