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Mastercard strengthens presence in the Caribbean

By on August 21, 2019

(Michal Jarmoluk/Pixabay)

Opens new office in Puerto Rico

SAN JUAN — The general manager of Mastercard in Puerto Rico, José Vargas, announced the opening of the company’s first office on the island, at the Chardón Tower in San Juan.

With this new location, the company seeks to expand the use of electronic payment methods in Puerto Rico. Its credit and debit card market share is of about 20% on the island, according to company data.

“For a long time, customers asked us that they wanted to see us more and have local services. Thanks to that customer demand, in addition to our strategy, which we were working on since 2018, we were able to start making local contracts in several sales areas, business, product and merchandise development. Each of these functions will have a person in charge. We are still evaluating how many more people we can add in the future, depending on market demand,” Vargas said.

“These functions will always continue to have the support we have in Miami and from different global teams in the company. Before the end of the month, we hope to have filled all the positions for the Puerto Rico office,” he added.

However, as a matter of policy, Mastercard did not offer data on the investment required for the new office.

Meanwhile, Mastercard’s communications director, Marcus Carmo, also indicated that a “customer delivery” area will be available by year’s end. This service is dedicated to the delivery of projects they do with clients such as banks.

The main objective of Mastercard is to bring new technologies to the island to allow users to have a secure experience in physical and digital commerce.

Through Mastercard’s own solutions or the companies it has acquired, the company can provide solutions to its business partners. Among those offered is tokenization with its Mastercard Digital Enablement Service (MDES) solution, which is a set of “on-behalf services” (OBS) that manage, generate and provide digital payment credentials on mobile devices to allow simple and secure digital payment experiences by substituting sensitive data with a non-sensitive equivalent, or a token, that has no exploitable value.

Similarly, the company seeks to improve the real-time experience in “person-to-person” (P2P), “person-to-merchant” (P2M), “business-to-business” (B2B) payments, among others.

In addition, the company provides a variety of value-added services, including consulting and data analysis to address business problems, through the “Mastercard Advisors” program.

“We have recently seen many positive economic indicators such as unemployment that has come down and new investments as part of the recovery after hurricanes. All these things are crossing at the same time so that now is the ideal time to have that local presence,” Vargas noted.

In 2018, Mastercard established an office in the Dominican Republic and confirmed that its third office in the Caribbean is scheduled to open in October, in Kingston, Jamaica.

“The opening of the office of Puerto Rico, the second in the Caribbean in less than a year, is a great leap in our regional expansion strategy. In the coming years, we hope to continue expanding our presence constantly. This strategic corporate approach provides a greater relevance for the Caribbean region, while giving the business team greater local decision-making power in areas such as market investment and expansion of operations,” Vargas pointed out.

On the other hand, the company will expand and study users on the island more closely to offer more data to customers.

The Digital Evolution Index, a study produced as a partnership between Mastercard and the Fletcher School at Tufts University, did not include Puerto Rico. However, Marcus said that from now on, after the establishment of this office in Puerto Rico, the island will be part of the analysis of how prepared it is in technology in general, market penetration, cellphone use, and other metrics.

Mastercard’s payments processing network connects 50 billion businesses with 40,000 financial institutions in more than 210 countries and territories. With 2.5 billion debit, credit, pre-paid card accounts, among others, the company processed 56 billion transactions a year.

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