Robert Reeg, President, Operations & Technology (MasterCard) speaks with NRInews24x7:
1. Can you help me with the insights into the India operations?
India is an important market for MasterCard, both from a market potential standpoint, as well as from an innovation standpoint.
The India Tech Hub is part of MasterCard’s worldwide technology network that is at the foundation of our cutting edge payment technologies aimed at enabling a cashless world. Our network allows us to engage with technologists, engineers and developers collaborate with customers, and puts MasterCard at the centre of India’s rich talent pool. This hub, our largest outside the US, comprises two facilities – one in Pune, that represents our Centre of Excellence for our processing businesses, and Vadodara, that serves as our Centre of Excellence for mobile payment solutions and digital wallets.
With the creation of a tech hub in India, the speed to market will be dramatic. We are leveraging global time zones to enhance our ability to develop and enhance products across markets.
2. Please share insights on the implementation of Digital Technologies in Finance and Banking.
India is currently a cash-based economy, and there is a significant opportunity to enable and accelerate the adoption of digital payments. Today, only approx. 3 percent of payments are done electronically.
We are seeing a confluence of opportunity between business and the government’s push towards Digital India and accelerating financial inclusion. Coupled with the high mobile phone penetration and large number of millennials, the Technology Hub is even more important because of where the country is going digitally. At MasterCard, we are driving mobile-to-mobile solutions that support digital payments and remittance, as well as opportunities to leverage innovations in contactless cards. For example, we are creating common transit cards that can enhance how travellers pay for public transportation system and other things.
The future of payments in India looks very bright, and we want to play a role in how this evolves. Think about it – thanks to electronic payments, a consumer who lives in a rural area no longer has to go to a bank to make a transaction or pay their bills; they can simply do it via a mobile phone or computer. That’s what it ultimately boils down to – as a technology company, we are committed to making payments safe, simple and smart for the consumer.
3. How would you describe the IT infrastructure at the global delivery centre at Pune? What HR skills you will employ at Pune? How many jobs are getting created and what are the investments?
The Tech Hub allows for increased collaboration between engineers and developers based in India and MasterCard’s global technology and innovation teams. Teams in India are developing solutions that enhance not only online transactions, but across the payments value chain. We want to leverage the diverse pool of highly skilled talent here to accelerate the development of global innovations and product development.
Today, we have approx. 10 percent of our global workforce in India. In 2014, we spent US$250 million to invest in scaling up our technology footprint here in India. We are looking to have up to 1,500 people in both locations by the end of this year.
4. What geographies will this typically service and what is the scope of service?
At the Tech Hub, we are building global products that can be implemented locally. For instance, we built a new processing centre in the Middle East, using the software built and developed at our centre in Pune. This can be taken to other global markets, in addition to tapping the Indian payment industry.
5. Please comment on the use of Technology to mitigate risks, including credit risks, at MasterCard. What better experience is MasterCard bringing to its customer in 2015?
Safety and security are at the heart of everything we do at MasterCard. With the increasing popularity of digital devices such as smartphones, tablets and now even watches, to conduct daily business, consumers expect enhanced protection of their payments data.
As technology evolves, security must evolve in tandem with technology. We are delivering on that front. In order to protect customers, MasterCard has created an additional layer of security to the digital payment process through the MasterCard Digital Enablement System (MDES) or tokenisation, a technology that is ushering a new era in digital payments. Tokenisation represents a huge leap forward in security technology. It builds on existing EMV computer chip technology, also called chip-and-pin technology, while overcoming security vulnerabilities associated with magnetic strip technology.
6. What is your market share for India, US and global operations?
As a listed company we do not provide a breakdown by region, but you can see the impact of what we do through this video: http://newsroom.mastercard.com/videos/mastercard-numbers/
7. Comments on the Indian banking, finance and retail market opportunities for MasterCard – what are the changes you feel are essential to happen in India to attract US investments?
MasterCard sees tremendous opportunities in India, and we are excited to play a larger role in the market. For example, at the side-lines of the Vibrant Gujarat summit held last month, we signed an MoU with the Gujarat state government to collaborate on a number of strategic areas, including digitizing and streamlining the procurement payment process in various government departments and develop a mobile-based solution for the transfer of government benefits to beneficiaries. We have also implemented various projects with the state governments of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, DMRC, and National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC).
The overall business sentiment is positive and we are committed to India. We are enthusiastic about the opportunities here, and look forward to what we’ll do in this market.
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