Mastercard Maestro Brings Payments Giant To Next Level Of Innovation

Mastercard has been at the forefront of new financial technology and services. One key person working to develop and launch cutting edge innovation is Ken Moore, an executive vice president and the head of Mastercard Labs. 

“We create and deliver the new products and services that are going to drive our growth in the future,” explained Moore, who joined the company mid-2016 and is responsible for leading the company’s R&D initiatives globally. 

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Based in Dublin, Mastercard Labs currently employs around 650 people. And while some of its innovations might not have instantly recognizable names, they all take on a specific challenge. The lab then uses feedback from either the market or pilot customers to decide on how to proceed. 

One area that the Lab is working on is blockchain development. Last year, Mastercard announced a partnership with blockchain firm R3 to “develop and pilot” the payments solution, with an initial focus on connecting faster payments schemes and banks backed by Mastercard’s clearing and settlement network. In addition, the company revealed that it would also be using blockchain to bring visibility to food systems and supply chain via a partnership with Envisble.

“I still think blockchain is one of those (technologies) that are going to help us redefine financial services in the future. Are we still focused (on) and interested in blockchain? Absolutely, some of our identity solutions are built on blockchain,” Moore said.

Another priority for the company is the FinTech ecosystem, with Moore calling the company a kind of “original FinTech.” Last year saw the launch of Mastercard Accelerate, which works to streamline how Mastercard works with financial tech companies and provides support from startup to expansion. In addition, there was the introduction of Fintech Express to quickly onboard partners and give startups access to a suite of digital-first products. The first company to sign on for the offering was Rapyd, a payments company that gives businesses access to over 500 local payment types.

As for the future, Mastercard Labs recently announced that it would be adding an additional 1,500 people to the location — all helping to move the payments giant to the next level of innovation.