Thursday, May 7, 2015

MasterCard Resets as Tech Play to Fuel Innovation

Transformation Takes Culture Change, Open Innovation and Partnerships with Entrepreneurs and Startups

By Marc Dresner, Senior Editor, IIR

If you think MasterCard is a credit card company, think again.

Brien Buckman, who works on MasterCard’s OpenAPI team out if its new tech hub in NYC, points out that MasterCard doesn’t actually issue credit cards; they simply provide the technology behind the payment networks that enable the cards.
Brien Buckman

It’s an important distinction that the company is making not just externally but internally, too, as it endeavors to recast itself as a technology provider.

“We are reinvigorating the employee base and helping people understand that we are a technology company.”

“We are reinvigorating the employee base and helping people understand and realize that we are a technology company and we can act like a technology company in this new generation,” said Buckman.

Buckman says MasterCard is transitioning culturally, with a top-down mandate from CEO Ajay Banga, and this means discarding outmoded notions and old thinking.

We are creating an environment that challenges traditional ways of thinking and encourages new ideas.”

“We want to make sure that we are creating an environment that challenges traditional ways of thinking and that encourages new ideas,” he emphasized.

It’s an ambitious undertaking that’s also reflected in several new initiatives to drive innovation by engaging non-traditional partners and customers, particularly start-ups and entrepreneurs.

In this podcast with Forward Focus—FEI’s expert interview series—Brien Buckman reviews how MasterCard is putting technology and open innovation to work in a remarkable reinvention strategy.


Editor’s note: Brien Buckman will be speaking at the 13th Annual Front End of Innovation taking place May 18-20 in Boston.

For more information or to register for FEI 2015, please visit www.frontendofinnovation.com



ABOUT THE AUTHOR / INTERVIEWER
Marc Dresner is IIR USA’s sr. editor and special communication project lead. He is the former executive editor of Research Business Report, a publication for the marketing research and consumer insights industry. He may be reached at mdresner@iirusa.com. Follow him @mdrezz.

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