Recently, Mastercard announced it would begin offering a “buy now pay later” (BNPL) payment option to capitalize on strong consumer demand. The space is dominated by the likes of Klarna, Afterpay, Sezzle, Affirm, and Zip. In August, Square purchased Australia’s Afterpay for a reported $29 billion. Mastercard’s product will allow customers to take out interest-free loans to be paid in four installments.
“Many consumers are drawn to the instant gratification, easy access and predictable installments,” noted Ted Rossman, senior industry analyst at CreditCards.com. “The line between credit cards and buy now pay later is getting increasingly blurry. For example, Mastercard’s new offering works with digital wallets and on retailers’ websites.”
BNPL potentially boosts merchant sales by as much as 45 percent, according to Mastercard. Yet, there is risk for the consumer in delinquent payments, fees and hits to their credit history. BNPL is just one area in which fintechs have created a market and behemoths like Mastercard, American Express, and Visa have had to provide similar products.
As CEO of Mastercard, Michael Miebach is on the forefront of the rapidly changing landscape of payments. As more people enter the digital economy, Mastercard is positioned to thrive in these times by creating innovative products and its relentless focus on mitigating cyber risks and improving transparency. In September, the company also launched Strive, a global initiative for micro and small businesses to digitize.
“When small businesses thrive our local communities and economies thrive, but when they struggle, the impact is widespread,” Miebach noted. “What small business owners need right now are partners who will listen to them and develop innovative solutions that will help them grow in the wake of the pandemic. It comes down to an investment in making their success our success. That’s what makes programs like Strive so critical today and tomorrow.”
Michael Miebach, who succeeded Ajay Banga as CEO earlier in the year, will join the HBS Club of New York for an exclusive conversation about his vision for the company, the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead and the lessons he has learned throughout his professional career.
Join us for this insightful conversation.
Participants must register by NOON on January 10th to receive details on joining the discussion. The Zoom link will be sent out 24 hours before the event.
Please note that no refunds will be issued.
Chief Executive Officer at Mastercard
Michael Miebach is chief executive officer of Mastercard and a member of the company’s board of directors.
He is leading the company into a more digital world where the continued application of new technologies will further enable payments to become more seamless in the overall purchasing experience, while bolstering cyber services and data-powered insights.
Over the past five years, first as chief product officer and then president, Michael was critical to setting the strategy that transformed the company’s offerings from a consumer card-centric business to a platform supporting choice in how businesses, people and governments make payments. This strategy, combined with the company’s customer focus, helped Mastercard evolve and diversify into new areas including real-time payments, open banking, digital identity and other value-added services.
His collaborative approach creates scalable and trusted solutions for the exchange of payments and data and can be seen in his leadership of the acquisitions of Vocalink and Finicity, as well as the pending transaction with Nets – each expanding Mastercard’s range of payment flows.
Michael joined Mastercard in 2010 to lead its Middle East and Africa operations, where he helped shape and advance the company’s financial inclusion efforts with targeted solutions for governments and their citizens across the region. Earlier in his career, Michael held senior roles at both Barclays Bank and Citibank.
He is a member of the digital advisory council of Fannie Mae, which makes sustainable homeownership and workforce rental housing a reality for millions of Americans, and a member of the board of directors for the nonprofit Accion, which gives people across the world the financial tools and services they need to prosper.
Michael is also a board member at large for the Ronald McDonald House New York City, a charity that offers vital resources and compassionate care to children and their families being treated by the world’s leading pediatric cancer hospitals.
Michael holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Passau in Germany.
Hemali Dassani (MBA 1999) is an experienced fundraiser and investor relations professional within the alternative investments space and is currently a placement agent and consultant to multiple Private Equity funds. Hemali was previously Director of Investor Relations for Argand Partners and Castle Harlan, middle market private equity funds. Hemali was also a Managing Director with Old City Investment Partners, a multi-family office dedicated to finding high quality investments for the firm’s clientele of family office investors. Ms. Dassani has an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School and a B.Sc. in Industrial Engineering from Northwestern University. She was President of the Harvard Business School Club of Greater New York and currently sits on the Board of the Club and chairs its racial equity task force. Previously she sat on the Board of Governors for the Harvard Business School Real Estate Alumni Association and the Steering Committee for the Harvard Business School Alumni Angels Association.
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