MasterCard sets its sights on Millennial spenders
According to MasterCard’s chief financial officer, Martina Hund-Mejean, the internationally recognized credit card company is increasingly targeting Millennial spenders. There are some compelling reasons for doing so: according to Experian PLC, the average number of credit cards held by consumers in this generation is just over two per person. That’s up 52% from 2010, and the average balance on those cards is now $3,542, which is up 32% in the same time frame.
MasterCard’s share price has risen by 25% year to date
SOURCE: Yahoo Finance
Traditionally, Millennials have been seen as relatively cautious consumers. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal Ms. Hund-Mejean explained how a generation that saw “how tough it actually was for their parents to be paying back the credit they got” came to embrace the service:
“Lo and behold, as the MIllennials are maturing over the last two, three, four years, we’re starting to see a changed behavior. They’re starting to feel much more comfortable in terms of their own budgeting discipline. They learned it through what they’re doing with their checking account and their debit account […] they’re actually growing into the credit-card space.”
She thinks, though, that Millennials and those that come after them (Centennials) are similar in the way that they behave when it comes to payments: “digital and physical are moving together, it’s completely converging. When you think about consumers, what they really like to do, they don’t care if they’re in a store or on a website, they want to pay the same way […] where they’re different from my generation is that they have been born into this technology-driven world. They have a mobile way of life.”
Ms. Hund-Mejean says that mobile is a marathon, not a sprint. That means that, as ubiquitous as the technology may already seem, there is a lot more growth to do in that area. Until consumers apply enough pressure, she says, merchants are not incentivized to embrace the platform. However, mobile – along with security factors like thumbprint verification (biometrics) – represents a clear way in which MIllennials and Centennials are changing the payment landscape. MasterCard is investing heavily, and plans to carve out a position at the front of the race to embrace those changes.
Dominion holds MasterCard in its Global Trends Ecommerce Fund.
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