Tuesday, 4 December 2012

MasterCard’s King says Cash is not….

Marion King, MasterCard’s president for the UK and Ireland spoke to Marketing Week recently about the possibility of a cashless society. She stated that the emergence of innovative payments technologies will eventually replace cash.  “There are different levels of take-up across the globe but I think that cash will increasingly be replaced, largely because of technological innovations and digital currencies via the smartphone.”, she said. She argued that, despite a global economic crisis, there is a steady rise in MasterCard’s volume of transactions, offline and online which she sees as a true indicator of a move away from cash.

She underlined MasterCard’s confidence in mobile payments, emphasising the number of investments made in this payment method. MasterCard’s partnership with EE to launch iZettle in the UK marks the shift to cashless payments for small retailers, KIng explained, “Where historically it has been costly and prohibitive for these retailers to accept cards, this innovation allows them to accept card payment wherever they are by plugging in a dongle into their smartphone.”

Security is evoked as one of the many benefits of the change towards cashless payment, but data seems to be a key advantage of the move away from cash. “Card transactions provide data, and we are able to use that to help merchants and organisations plan and understand buying patterns, and whether customers are moving more towards e-commerce and if so under what circumstances. If a customer uses cash, there isn’t that data.”, Marion King said.

The MasterCard president added the important role of the ease of use in the spread of card and mobile payments and urges small retailers who have taken a cash-only approach in the past to consider the new option to boost their business.

It looks though, yet again, that reports of cash’s death have been greatly exaggerated as for the foreseeable future at least, cash remains the favoured means of payment particularly  for lower value transaction. Added to this is the fact that, consumers prefer the anonymity conferred by cash and there will always be a sector of the population who remain resentful of  the data crunching retailers that follow purchasing behaviour.

From a retailer perspective, particularly, the smaller ones, they struggle with the higher transaction fees (sometimes passed onto the consumer).

For the latest jobs in the card and payment industry, go to http://www.cardandpaymentjobs.com



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