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“Plastic cards will also co-exist. In the developed world, we have a lot of

ATMs and point of sale machines, as well as parking meters and vending

machines, which take plastic; our infrastructure is very well developed

to work with a card.

“In some of the developing markets, they don’t have that infrastructure,

and that’s why you see African countries effectively leapfrogging and

going directly to mobile payments. People are going to want to

simultaneously have the same experience, whether they’re buying online,

through their telephone or in a mall; they just want something that is

going to work for them.

“We are effectively designing a one-click checkout, something that has

exactly the same consumer experience. When we buy a product, we

want the payment to happen seamlessly, safely in the background and

in a way that is chosen. I want a good buying experience and a choice.”

Innovation

To realise new technology, MasterCard is playing its role in open

innovation, collaborating with other companies and opening up its

application program interfaces (API) to help realise new app developments.

“We are trying to build a common experience across the world and

ensure interoperability,” Cairns told Portal. “Europe is a place where if

the right decisions are made, you allow innovation to flourish and enable

effective cross-border shopping. This is a good move and is what

consumers will expect in the future.

“In our labs in Dublin, we incubate and work with start-ups through

partnership agreements; we also buy companies and undertake capital

investment. If the companies we work with can get access to Horizon

2020 funding in addition to working with us, we are very happy to be

part of that ecosystem that encourages more innovation, because one

company cannot do it alone.

I S S U E S E V E N

H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R TA L

www.horizon2020projects.com

Ann Cairns

MasterCard

B R OW S E

www.mastercard.com/corporate/ourco mpany/ www.ebsummit.eu

H O R I Z O N

2 0 2 0

88

D I G I TA L E C O N O M Y

“Working in collaboration with lots of different

partners, the pace of our growth is very fast.

We will have to buy as well as build, and many

of the good ideas can come from smaller

companies. We are opening up our

infrastructure through open APIs. If you

consider development on the internet, people

are looking for zero-cost models, and we are

giving them that platform.

“We are holding ‘hackathons’ across the

world to encourage the development

community, and we believe this is the way

forward in this space. Once you start getting

your name and your message out there, there

is quite a lot of enthusiasm.”

Realising potential

MasterCard is clearly leading the way in

regards to moving to contactless and mobile

payment technology, recognising the methods

that will encourage consumers and businesses

to increase its uptake. Yet the multinational is

also identifying the wishes of local consumers

as to how, when and at what speed these new

processes should be implemented.

In addition, the company is working with

tomorrow’s digital and app innovators to realise

the next technological breakthroughs. By

incubating and working with start-ups in

Europe, as well as opening up APIs, MasterCard

has the potential to help the continent respond

to international competition.

If Horizon 2020 is to help the EU maintain an

innovative edge in tomorrow’s payment

technology, the European Commission needs

to ensure that adequate and targeted funding

is made available to projects supporting this

breakthrough. Such efforts will ensure that

consumers really do tap into the benefits of the

multibillion R&I framework programme.

Despite the growth in

mobile payments,

Cairns said cash is still

likely to remain in the

pockets of consumers

for many years

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