Cutting-edge technologies retain the potential to redefine how brands do business. Brands are implementing increasingly digitized strategies in order to stand out from the competition, connect with customers, and positively impact revenue. Is your brand prepared for the next set of digitally innovative (and disruptive) practices?

On Tuesday, Mastercard announced the company’s expansion of its two-decades young consulting services, with the aim of placing clients within reach of new digital frontiers. Areas of focus will include cryptocurrency, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and open banking.

As Mastercard describes it, the company has curated connections with digitally native firms that offer best-of-breed solutions for emerging digital technologies, helping to bring FinTech into new markets with comprehensive planning and commercialization strategies.

Mastercard and cryptocurrency

The evolved and integrated approach to cryptocurrency reflects the company’s commitment to helping customers navigate new digital opportunities and challenges. In the company’s 2021 fourth quarter earnings call, Mastercard CEO Michael Miebach stated that Mastercard will continue supporting the cryptocurrency ecosystem going into 2022.

Mastercard and NFTs

Amidst new technology and ecosystem developments, big brands -from Taco Bell to Adidas- are investing in NFTs. This week, Miebach unveiled a  partnership with Coinbase, which will streamline and simplify NFT purchases. Buyers will no longer have to first purchase Etherium (ETH) or open a digital wallet to buy an NFT.

Mastercard and open banking

In case the term is unfamiliar, “open banking” refers to the notion of financial institutions and third-party providers sharing access to financial data. The practice can equip businesses and consumers with more information about how their data is used, and can provide additional access to desirable financial services. Open banking represents a burgeoning field in the US.

Mastercard’s new consultative dimension includes a component designed to help businesses properly develop actionable open banking strategies via data analysis, advisory and product development services. 

The benefits of open banking include simplified account transfer processes between banks, improved pairings of consumers with financial products, and better loan terms that are predicated on more granular insights into consumers’ financial situations. For small businesses, open banking may also mean better fraud monitoring and management. Drawbacks of open banking potentially include higher exposure to data breaches and insider threats. 

Further development

At present, Mastercard retains over 2,000 data scientists, engineers and consultants, who serve 70 countries across the globe. Plans include the expansion of Data and Services teams. The company will bring in more than 500 college graduates and young professionals to work in emerging tech domains. 

In summary

New initiatives will enable the company to tap “world-class thinking, services and tools and assets — such as Ciphertrace, Finicity and Aiia, Cyber Quant and the Priceless Planet Coalition — to drive smarter decisions with better outcomes across a customer’s entire business,” according to the company’s press release

Digital innovation isn’t always about breakthrough technologies – sometimes it’s just about democratizing access to new opportunities. 

For more information about the future of finance, business and technology, see CyberTalk.org’s past coverage. If your interests include blockchain for business, please read our latest blockchain whitepaper