Mastercard realigns business structure, NY Fed joins cross-border test

Under intensifying pressure to tap new sources of revenue amid a changing payments ecosystem, Mastercard on Tuesday announced plans to realign its organizational structure into three separate business areas beginning May 1, with key executive changes effective immediately.

Mastercard’s core business of credit and debit card acceptance and transaction processing — along with support for instant payments — will be consolidated into one unit, while the card network’s fastest-growing products including value-added services and new payment flows will be housed in two separate units, according to a press release.

The moves are aimed at diversifying the firm’s revenue sources and capitalizing on growth opportunities, Mastercard’s CEO Michael Miebach said in the release. 

Analysts in recent quarters have flagged the need for Mastercard and rival global card network Visa to diversify their revenue sources in the face of competition from providers of faster payments, open banking and account-to-account transfers, along with downward pressure on credit and debit interchange. Mastercard’s net revenue from value-added services in 2023 — including fraud-fighting and security tools, identity and authentication, data analytics and consulting and loyalty solutions — rose 18%, compared with a 10% increase in its net revenue from payments.

The change could help Mastercard’s mission to squeeze more revenue from emerging products, but analysts at JPMorgan Chase this week said in a note to investors that Mastercard’s strong results from value-added services during the first quarter of 2023 could make its comparisons in these areas tougher when Mastercard reports its latest quarterly results on May 1.

As part of the realignment, Mastercard appointed Jorn Lambert, a 22-year veteran of the firm, to lead its core payments unit as chief product officer. Previously Lambert was Mastercard’s chief digital officer. 

Raj Seshadri, who joined Mastercard in 2016 after stints at Blackrock and Citigroup, will head the commercial and new payment flows area, which encompasses small-business and commercial card payments including those from fleets, virtual cards, travel and entertainment, direct bill pay, remittances, disbursements and business-to-business payables and receivables, Mastercard said. Previously she was president of data and services.

A third unit, simply called services, will cover Mastercard’s thriving value-added services including fraud-surveillance tools, cyber and intelligence, data and open banking, led by Craig Vosburg, who Mastercard named chief services officer. Vosburg, who has been at Mastercard for 18 years, previously was Mastercard’s chief product officer. 

Vosburg will also supervise the Data and AI organization, a new group led by Greg Ulrich as chief AI and data officer, who will focus on the commercialization of AI and data for internal and external uses.

Ajay Bhalla, Mastercard’s president of cyber and intelligence, is retiring after more than 30 years at the firm. —Kate Fitzgerald

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