Coolest Brands 2016: MasterCard

Making Payments Happen in the IoT

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / Anna_OmelchenkoIs it possible for a payment network to be cool? And what if that payment network was launched in — gasp! — in 1966?

It is when that payment network is gamely inventing internet of things payments on the fly. Welcome, to MasterCard, one of the coolest brands in banking.

Sure, there are many fintech initiatives at MasterCard. There’s Start Path; a fintech acquisition strategy; a partnership with Startupbootcamp; a fintech accelerator with Silicon Valley Bank; the MasterCard DigiSec Lab; the STEM program; and more. But it is the deals MasterCard inked with Samsung and Coin last month that truly makes MC cool. The agreements are intended to facilitate the market launch of a “smart refrigerator.” The Samsung smart fridge will have a tablet from which a consumer can place orders (and pay for them). FreshDirect, ShopRite and MyWebGrocer are partners in the initiative.

This is unconventional stuff, and it is only fair to tip a hat to MasterCard for its aggressive innovating. Ajay Banga, the president and CEO of MasterCard, has made innovation a centerpiece of his agenda. With the IoT initiative, it is fair to say that centerpiece is not just talk.

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