Mastercard eyes opportunities to profit from sharing economy

Mastercard eyes opportunities to profit from sharing economy

Seeking to profit from a booming sharing economy, Mastercard has identified trust, experience and regulation as vital to unlocking the potential of the new commerce models that are emerging.

The card scheme has released a white paper based on an investigation undertaken with The Future Agenda which delves into the current state and future perspective of the sharing economy, identifying the key factors which can empower people to share accommodation, transportation, buying or selling of goods, on-demand professional services and a multitude of other experiences.

“The sharing economy is experiencing an extraordinary level of growth, transforming the fundamental way industries operate and people experience a variety of things,” says Mark Barnett, president, Mastercard UK & Ireland. “This report is designed to help us understand the opportunities and challenges today."

The study has identified three inter-related themes around which future change will impact the new ecosystem, including improving trust and transparency, enhancing the user experience and providing access to value via new technological developments in distributed ledgers, the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence.

The paper's release is one of a rash of announcements made by the card scheme at the giant Money 20/20 conference in Copenhagen, including the promotion of the latest startups to join its Start Path effort to support later-stage fintech and tech companies shaping the future of commerce.

Several of the selected startups are harnessing insights from in-store traffic patterns and spending habits to create personalized experiences for customers. Others are helping merchants accept payments through SMS messaging systems and bill-paying platforms for large expenses that historically could not be paid using a card.

“As commerce becomes increasingly connected, fintechs will play a key role in meeting customer demand for smart and seamless experiences,” says Amy Neale, vice president, Mastercard Start Path. “We’re providing startups who are reimaging this space with the tools, mentorship and introductions they need to grow their businesses faster than they could by themselves.”

The latest wave of Start Path participants include:

CardUp manages monthly credit card payments for big ticket items such as rent or insurance, while also accessing credit and earning additional rewards.
ftcash enables micro-merchants and entrepreneurs to take collateral-free business loans and accept mobile app and messaging-based payments from their customers.
The ModoPayments platform enables new ways to pay, including the use of loyalty points to buy everyday goods in-store.
Movvo provides insights on in-store browsing and shopping patterns.
ToneTag enables contactless payments on any device using soundwaves instead of NFC.
RecommenderX develops cutting-edge data analytics to offer personalised recommendations.

Applications for the next six-month virtual program will be accepted through 11:59 p.m. ET on Tuesday, 1 August, 2017.

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