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Key Takeaways From Mastercard’s North American Innovation Day

By Kanika Talwar,


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Mastercard held its North American Innovation Day at the company’s new tech hub in New York City (one of several hubs worldwide). The global technology company held a series of talks looking at the current and future developments of the company, beyond just being known for its credit cards.

In her welcome introduction, Linda Kirkpatrick, president of North America at Mastercard, spoke about the future of the company and meeting consumers where they are now and in the future. She shared that Mastercard has acquired 30 companies and made strategic minority investment stakes in more than 100 companies. Consumers are increasingly engaging in digitized moments throughout their day, accelerated especially during the pandemic — 58 percent of global Mastercard customers are using the contactless tap feature on their cards.

One of the major trends she has found when looking at consumers today is that people are craving time with their families. Consumer spending has shifted from spending money on things to experiences such as restaurants and traveling, which are all able to be digitized.

In a talk with Johan Gerber, executive vice president of security and cyber innovation, and Raj Dhamodharan, executive head of crypto and blockchain, both looked at ways Mastercard is working toward making blockchain and digital assets more secure and trustworthy.

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“Beyond investment, the technology itself holds a lot of promise,” Dhamodharan said. “This is a whole new sector that is enabling the building blocks that are incredibly useful for the industry. We can help make that place very safe. Setting up new networks, such as open banking, is not new to us. The central role of making the ecosystem safe, equitable and interesting for all of us; it’s an important role.”

One of the central issues as to why people are not utilizing this technology more is not knowing who the other party is. Governments and banks are starting to get involved more with regulating and standardizing digital assets. Gerber said there will be more globalized regulation for the industry in the future. Currently, the International Monetary Fund and others are aiming for standardization.

On Wednesday morning, Citizens Bank announced the launch of its new Citizens Private World Elite Mastercard. The card gives unlimited 2 percent cashback, free TSA Pre-Check and Global Entry, free access to airport lounges around the globe and access to Mastercard’s Priceless Experiences. The bank’s private wealth management clients will get the bank’s personalized financial advice and investment management for achieving their financial goals.

Aiming to serve a wider audience of customers, Citizens Bank will be the first bank issuer in the U.S. to include the Touch Card notch (originally launched in 2021) on its card. The feature helps people who are blind or partially sighted identify their cards with the notch on the side; this will be standard issue within every new Private Client Mastercard card. Moving forward, Brendan Coughlin, vice chairman and head of consumer banking at Citizens Bank says they will be rolling out the inclusion of this to the rest of their Mastercard cards.

“The launch of the new Citizens Private Client Mastercard is an exciting milestone in our expanded partnership with Citizens,” said Linda Kirkpatrick, president of North America at Mastercard. “Embedding Mastercard’s Touch Card feature exemplifies our mutual commitment to innovation and customer experience. We look forward to continuing to work with Citizens to create the best experiences for their cardholders.”

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