MasterCard chief: physical payments “quite difficult” for rival PayPal - Mobile World Live

MasterCard chief: physical payments “quite difficult” for rival PayPal

08 MAR 2016

INTERVIEW: Contactless payments may be a vast market but PayPal has a lot of catching up to do, according to Ann Cairns, MasterCard’s president of international markets.

PayPal’s recent announcement of an NFC-based partnership with Vodafone for point-of-sale transactions makes it more of an all-round threat to credit card firms, including MasterCard.

“The payment space is very big. Only 15 per cent of consumer payments are actually electronic right now, which means 85 per cent are still cash around the world. So it is an enormous space and you are going to have a lot of different players occupying that space,” responded Cairns.

MasterCard and rivals including Visa have a background in physical payments but have, in recent years, moved into the online market which is PayPal’s domain. The latter has been plotting its move in the opposite direction.

At Mobile World Congress, PayPal announced support for NFC technology for mobile payments and a partnership with Vodafone in Europe for contactless.

“I think for someone like PayPal to go physical is quite difficult, given we are already connected to 37 million merchants around the world, as opposed to someone like MasterCard going digital,” said Cairns.

Watch the full video here.


Richard Handford

Richard is the editor of Mobile World Live’s money channel and a contributor to the daily news service. He is an experienced technology and business journalist who previously worked as a freelancer for many publications over the last decade including...

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