MIAMI – Innovation, improving security and reaching those who have not been served by digital commerce are the main forces transforming the Latin American financial market, according to Carlo Enrico, president of Mastercard’s Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region.
“The Age of Acceleration” is the theme of the Mastercard LAC Innovation Forum 2019, taking place this week in Miami Beach.
A number of the speakers at the e-commerce event emphasized the idea of inclusion, not only as a priority for payment platforms but as a social responsibility.
Enrico told EFE that in an era of technological acceleration, companies want and need to be able to offer consumers the best product or the best solution, but they also have a responsibility to create a positive impact on society.
The industry cannot ignore the 200 million Latin American and Caribbean people who do not have “a banking opportunity,” he said, insisting that financial products must be “inclusive by design.”
The “unbanked” represent not only a business opportunity, but equally a social responsibility for Mastercard and the entire industry, Enrico said.
In the last five years, Mastercard brought 500 million new consumers into the financial system, including nearly 80 million in Latin America.
The company is starting to work with the region’s coffee and flower industries on a system suited to seasonal workers who are generally paid in cash.
Mastercard, Enrico said, is creating a technology ecosystem allowing employers to pay seasonal employees on a mobile phone through a prepaid card.
Another trend highlighted at the conference was the security of electronic transactions. As the world migrates to digital formats, users need to be sure that their information is safe and won’t end up in the wrong hands.
One approach being pursued by Mastercard is a way to confirm that the person using a mobile device is its owner by analyzing how the device is held and tilted, or even how the keys are pressed.
Another innovative technology to ensure security is the use of tokenization, which consists in substituting symbols for account numbers on a one-time basis, with the result that if the communication is intercepted, the hacker will have access only to that single-use token.
To be truly social, a new solution must be immediately available worldwide, Enrico said, so Mastercard is designing applications to allow everyone around the world access to innovations.
The forum brought together more than 1,400 people from Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia and Europe to discuss the digital migration, financial inclusion and global commerce.