近日，万事达卡国际组织总裁兼CEO Ajay Banga在接受采访时表达了他对未来金融市场发展趋势的看法。他认为，电子支付、人工智能和物联网技术是金融市场在未来发展的三大支柱，对于加快信用卡公司的数字化进程，提高行业智能水平，构建信任纽带具有重要意义。同时，数据作为金融活动开展的源泉，其作用也将更加凸显。
自2015年以来，万事达卡加快布局物联网市场。与万事达卡签约物联网支付技术的公司包括给明星们设计服装的Adam Selman、汽车制造商通用汽车、专门研发可穿戴技术的Nymi，以及智能珠宝公司Ringly。Ajay Banga表示，随着越来越多的'物体'实现了互联，消费者们在付款方式上有了无限的可能性，无缝对接所有设备就成了一种需求。这项技术能够为几乎一切设备提供安全的电子化支付体验，打破了传统支付手段的种种限制。
Ajay Banga表示，公司在人脸和虹膜识别方面已经取得了一定的进展，并与Samsung开展了合作，将相关技术成功应用到了该公司即将推出的Galaxy S8手机上。
Data is really important.
That’s a simple declaration, but one that is core to MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga’s thinking around the credit card firm’s digital direction. It’s central to a philosophy of bringing increased smart capabilties that strenghten the provider’s relationship with its customers:
One of the things that my predecessors did many years back was to build a single unified data warehouse for the whole company and all our data flows into that and we’ve got a substantial warehouse where you can imagine people call it in terms of multiple size of the national weather laboratory."
What we have is data that does not include your name. I want to make sure people know that, because I’m not in the consumer business, I’m in the B2B2C business, not in the B2C business. So their names are not with me.
Assuming that data has been gathered and AI applied to it to identify trends and patterns, then that can guide decision-making. In pursuit of that sort of capability, MasterCard has recently bought a company called NuData. Banga explains:
NuData is a company that looks at the way you use that iPhone and how you hold it. So if you were to hold it differently from [one person], it will tell you this is not the same guy holding it. When he enters the password, the way he enters the password, it can tell you it’s a different guy entering the same password, and the fact that he types with two thumbs and then deletes 12 times, because you got fat thumb, is also something it will tell you.
As well as AI, Banga talks up an Internet of Things (IoT) angle on MasterCards’s strategic direction:
For most people, you kind of connect into things with your devices and you think that you’re safe and secure and you’re completely unsafe and insecure, if you’re not careful. You all go back into your beautiful cars and connect your phone and think that the Bluetooth is there and it’s great, because now you can call your wife and your husband and your child and shout at them. And you can shop for groceries while driving home and buy chicken and put on your oven to get to 350 degrees in the vision of the Internet of Things that every tech evangelist tells you about.
Banga it seems is none-too-impressed by such visions:
The issue is, first of all, why would you want to do that, whether in your house or whether in the car? Secondly, just a small matter, hacking into your Bluetooth is the easiest thing in the world for a kid of 10 years old. And from their [being] into your car, to then be able to change the way in which your car accelerates and brakes is not hard . If you don’t believe me, Google the topic and you’ll find real facts on that.
Ok, it’s a somewhat alarmist perspective, but what does it have to do with a credit card firm? Banga argues:
I’m saying that the Internet of Things is going to be a reality, because there is so much plus points around it from treatment of disease to managing older people, to managing the way your information is kept. There is no way you should hold it back. But you should go and enter into [the IoT] with eyes and ears open about the risk that comes with it and therefore the amount of data that will flow from every device. If your refrigerator starts talking to your toaster, well that’s a pretty large number of devices talking to each other.
All of this rather colorful preamble is bringing him round to his main point, which is the importance of authentication technology in a digtal world:
That’s where authentication come into play, completely different from the physical world, where the systems have been built for that safety. So EMV [Europay Mastercard Visa technical standard] was built for that, chip and pin, chip and signature. My view is that tokenization, it just one step in creating EMV type security in the digital world, because it creates cryptograms and one-time codes, and it doesn’t allow the card number to go anywhere, just one aspect.
But the whole authentication topic is the much bigger topic than what a payments company in its payment space will focus on. I just think there is a whole digital footprint, digital ID authentication issue that to me is also business opportunity for companies like ours, if we use our skills and capabilities to extend into that space.
Nonetheless, it’s payments that are front and center for MasterCard, of course, and Banga pitches MasterCard tech offerings that address his concerns:
Selfie Pay, which is actually more reliable than even fingerprints being read, because you get more data points on a face. So when you get data points you can kind of actually do a good Selfie authentication or even further iris scanning, which Samsung is launching with us in their new Galaxy S8 phone, where not only will you will get Selfie Pay but you will get iris scanning capability to authenticate people.
There is a ton of these going on. Selfie Pay actually is gone live in a number of countries, starting with commercial payments and then headed into consumer payments. Biometric cards are being tested right now in South Africa and going into Europe and other countries, as we speak.
It’s important that MasterCard as a provider focuses on such concerns, adds Banga, as the customer won’t necessarily:
Most consumers value convenience over security, because they don’t understand the implications of this Internet of Things and the security needs that will come with it. I consider that to be a huge opportunity that will come up and also something that could be a drag on all our businesses in the digital space. If bad things happen, consumers lose trust and so it could be a drag as well.
This is a competive differentiator, he believes:
It’s completely focused on the consumer experience, while leaving the bank in control of the relationships with that consumer, just kind of what they want as well. So, digital-by—default, multichannel and now what you got to do and now what we’re going to do is build new features into the wallet, build acceptance for it, and keep and sending consumers to use. It’s the stuff that we do for a living with our regular payments.