MasterCard has nabbed Orange payments chief Mung Ki Woo to head up its mobile payments and commerce initiatives, according to NFC Times.
Woo - currently VP of electronic payments and transactions at Orange - will report directly to Ed McLaughlin, chief emerging payments officer at MasterCard in his new role, predicts NFC Times.
MasterCard is following in the footsteps of rival Visa, which also recently poached a telco veteran - the GSMA's Bill Gajda - to look after its increasingly valuable mobile operations.
Orange has been at the forefront of mobile NFC projects, recently committing to start issuing NFC SIM cards to existing subscribers from the second quarter. Woo has also been involved in mobile money projects in African countries such as the Ivory Coast.
MasterCard has had considerable success with its PayPass contactless payment cards and has also rolled out mobile NFC stickers but is now seeking to head off the threat of telcos keen to break into the payments market.
Other threats are likely to emerge from Apple and Google in the smartphone market. Apple - which has filed multiple NFC-related patents - recently hired NFC expert Benjamin Vigier from mFoundry as product manager for mobile commerce. Google, meanwhile, has recently posted a job advert for a technical account manager for mobile commerce on its site.
MasterCard Hires Orange Executive to Run Mobile Business - NFC World