Antonio Junco
Executive Vice President Of Government Relations For Latin America And The Caribbean
Mastercard
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Contactless, QR Tech Driving Financial Growth

Tue, 11/13/2018 - 09:47

Q: What is Mastercard’s role in creating a digital future in Mexico?
A: Mastercard achieved significant progress in contactless payment technology in 2017, driven in part by cardholders who demanded this technology, which is now operational. Businesses are changing their infrastructure to ensure the best customer experience through contactless payments. In 2018, 30 percent of businesses accepted payments through contactless technology and we expect that by the end of 2019 more than 50 percent will do so. One of our main issues in Mexico is financial inclusion, which is why we are developing technology for the public transportation sector: to ensure that most of the population have access to innovation and to close the gap between financial institutions. We already have 1.4 million Mastercard Metro cards in the market that are equipped with contactless technology.
We believe the use of contactless technology will greatly benefit Mexico. Data shows that countries that adopt contactless technology increase the number of registered transactions by 27 percent. In Europe, more than 50 percent of transactions are contactless and in countries like Poland and Sweden, this percentage surpasses 80 percent. In Mexico, both issuers and merchants are adopting the technology and as a result, we expect to see strong progress in 2019.
Q: How does Mastercard guarantee security of transactions using its technology?
A: Security is one of the most important aspects of a financial transaction and it is a top priority for Mastercard. We have developed tools and solutions that guarantee security of transactions and that comply with all security protocols. That said, it is also important to balance this with agile solutions.
For instance, the security filters for the purchase of a MX$5 (US$0.3) metro token is different than for a transaction of MX$50,000 (US$2,600). To achieve this balance, we work with banks to ensure that cardholders always enjoy the highest security standards while maintaining the product’s flexibility. The public can be certain that contactless payments are secure. One of the main reasons is that the card never leaves your hands.
Q: How ready is Mexico’s infrastructure to bolster the adoption of contactless payments?
A: The challenge we have found in Mexico is the cost of the digital payment infrastructure, which is a barrier for many SMEs seeking to integrate into the digital payment network. There have been several developments that allow the reduction of infrastructure costs, such as point of sale (POS) readers or QR technology. These technologies make it easy for small businesses that do not have a continuous sales volume or for independent professionals like doctors, dentists or architects, whose businesses do not depend on daily transactions, to enter the ecosystem of digital payments. This is where the next million POS readers will go. They will be placed with professionals, public transportation services and in non-urban areas where acceptance of cards needs to grow.
Q: What are the emerging opportunities to work with cryptocurrencies or blockchain technology?
A: There are many new and interesting technologies that have emerged, such as blockchain. We already have several applications based on blockchain and several patents for blockchain applications as this technology represents an interesting alternative in terms of payments and exchanges. Cryptocurrencies are not a strategic priority for the company but we believe that blockchain technology offers an interesting future.
There are also other interesting technologies that are making a difference, including QR. It is necessary to note that regardless of whether we use chips, contactless cards or QR codes, we have developed all the technology related to fraud and money laundering prevention needed to ensure that transactions are secure.