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Mastercard Harnesses Data as a Customer Experience Differentiator

SmarterCX Team
September 27, 2017

6 minute read

Karen Pascoe, Senior Vice President of User Experience Design and Implementation for Mastercard‘s Emerging Payments Group, shares how the company harnesses data, IOT, and the Cloud to delight consumers, foster loyalty, and deliver better customer experience.

Karen Pascoe is interviewed by CX Factor host and CEO of Fanatics Media, Mark Fidelman, with additional questions from CX influencers Ted Rubin, Acting CMO at Brand Innovators and Co-Founder of Prevailing Path, and Mark Johnson, CEO and CMO, Loyalty 360.

Mark Fidelman: Welcome to CX Factor, the Oracle sponsored series that features executives from top brands delivering insights on creating the most engaging, effective customer experiences.

I’m Mark Fidelman, and on this week’s CX Factor, I head to Manhattan to meet with Karen Pascoe, Senior Vice President of User Experience at Mastercard, to find out how this payment services juggernaut is embracing technology innovation, high security standards, and the internet of things (IoT) to service the connected consumer at the speed of life.

Joining me today is Karen Pascoe, Senior Vice President of User Experience Design and Implementation for Mastercard’s Emerging Payments Group.

The first question I have is about Mastercard’s user experience. Mastercard isn’t typically known to interact with the consumer directly. How do you define customer experience? And what does that mean to the organization?

Karen Pascoe: In the digital world, Mastercard actually does touch consumers directly so the end user experience is becoming increasingly important to us as a company. It’s really becoming more and more of a differentiator. At Mastercard, we don’t necessarily go directly to consumers in terms of acquiring them, but we do have some B2C touchpoints that we need to make sure are good end-to-end experiences for consumers.

Mark Fidelman: And what are the touchpoints, primarily, that you guys are focused on?

Karen Pascoe: Primarily it would be the digital product experience, but in some cases it’s notifications, email, different touchpoints like that. For Mastercard more broadly, we also have Priceless which is our offers and preference platform as well, which is directly to consumers.

Mark Fidelman: What is the strategy at Mastercard for improving the customer experience just at a high level?

Karen Pascoe: The digital world has unprecedented pace, right? And it’s evolving quite rapidly, so we as a company need to build best practices, but really rapid best practices for improving customer experience.

Mark Fidelman: And this includes security and safety, I would imagine.

Karen Pascoe: Oh, absolutely. Security and safety is critically important for us in the digital world. Every time a consumer transacts, you really need to answer three questions: Who are you? Are you in fact you? And what can you do? The first question is something that the banks do when you’re getting your account set up. And banks are fantastic at that. The next question is: How much money can you spend? What’s your fraud profile?

That second question: “Are you in fact you?” is one that is really tricky in the digital space so we use biometrics, advanced analytics, and secure capabilities like tokenization, which narrows your account credential to that particular device, that particular merchant, that particular transaction – to really protect you in the digital world.

Mark Fidelman: Karen, the world is moving very fast, especially in the payment space. We see what American Express is doing, Mastercard is doing, Visa is doing, PayPal is doing – it’s changing rapidly. What is Mastercard doing specifically to keep pace with those changes in consumer tastes and trends?

Karen Pascoe: That’s a great question. I think a lot is the answer. There’s certainly all the work that we do with designing the product experience and obsessing about the consumer. That’s part and parcel of it. In addition to that, we work really closely with folks in Silicon Valley and consumer electronics manufacturers to help think through how payments are going to be embedded in this crazy world of internet of things. And I think beyond that, it’s really about responsiveness. As we’re taking a test-and-learn approach with our digital products, the data and input that we’re getting back around how consumers are using it is helping us improve the product and shape that experience over time.

Mark Fidelman: How are you managing all of these things that are happening out in the wild, so that you’re making sure that those connections are made securely and that you’re debiting the right accounts and that the transaction is smooth as you want it to be?

Karen Pascoe: We’re definitely enhancing our platform capabilities, but also marrying that with the Cloud. The basis for a lot of these secure capabilities is actually leveraging the Cloud and the Cloud’s capabilities for consumers so you can have your account credentials and capabilities, and via the Cloud, you can access those capabilities on any of your enabled commerce devices.

Mark Fidelman: In terms of customer experience, what are the things that you’re most proud of implementing here?

Karen Pascoe: Definitely digital-by-default. Really enabling consumers with Masterpass and digital-by-default – it’s rolling out with a lot of our key issuers in 2017. And it’s really just the simplest way for consumers to be able to adopt the security and the convenience of digital payments.

Mark Fidelman: You’re using Oracle’s ecommerce solution, what they call Commerce Cloud, right? Can you explain how you’re using it or just how you’re using the Cloud for commerce?

Karen Pascoe: The Cloud is really critical. If the consumer’s 16-digit account number is really transcending that plastic, the Cloud is a critical player in this. Really making sure that the consumer has the capability to pay on their phone, on their watch, on the go, in their connected fridge, in their connected car. As we go along, the Cloud is enabling us to provide this incredible amount of convenience for consumers – married with an incredible amount of security.

Mark Fidelman: We have a couple of questions from some of the experts that are in the customer experience space. And the first one comes from Ted Rubin.

Ted Rubin: I’m a big fan of the Mastercard team. I know a lot of the people there, and I’ve worked with them on different things. I love the way they look at connecting with the consumer and creating things like Priceless and Priceless Cities and Priceless Experiences. I’d love to know what they’re doing to move into the next era of online payments, mobile payments, and getting people to realize that Mastercard adds value to their lives.

Karen Pascoe: At Mastercard, all of the different capabilities that we have are being looked at through a digital lens. And I think Priceless is certainly big on that list. One of the capabilities that Priceless has is really about engaging with the consumer, providing experiences, and driving delight. What we’re seeing with Millennials and consumers overall is they are, in many instances, less interested in goods and more interested in experiences. That’s becoming some of the new currency that we’re seeing in commerce overall. All the capabilities we have in Priceless are fantastic. Beyond that, some of the things we can pull into Masterpass, into the secure online payment, are things like Priceless Surprise. Through the offer platform, a purchase that you thought you were paying for – surprise – maybe you’re not paying for it. Maybe you’re getting it for free, and that’s priceless. So, different ways of engaging and driving delight using all the capabilities that we have at Mastercard is really how we’re thinking about it in the digital space.

Mark Johnson: This is a very interesting time to be in the customer experience and customer loyalty arena. Brands are struggling with the treasure trove of data they have and creating true actionability from it. Mastercard sits in a very unique position, as they see a great deal of transactional data from merchants, from issuing banks, and from clients. What one piece of advice would you give, as Mastercard, to these brands to help them create true actionability from the data they have?

Karen Pascoe: I think one of the key differentiators that I see is, with the amount of data that we have, the ability to look at nuance. It’s easy to make a decision that’s a little bit linear, but when you have the data, you have a more robust picture of your customer, your consumer base, and what you can do. I’ll use an example at Mastercard. We’ve done a couple of acquisitions in the big data space, and 5one is one of those. They are a customer experience consultancy that looks at retail space and how they can focus on improving there.

A large upscale retailer came to 5one and said, “I really want to cull the amount of product I’ve got in my shoe department because I kind of look like a discounter.” And what they did was they looked straight up, almost in a linear way, and they said, “Okay, what are my underperforming SKUs? That’s what we’ll get rid of.” But the thing that really gave the retailer pause is, it was actually a premier brand that seemed pretty important. The retailer knew in their gut this might not be the right thing to do to take this out of their store. What that big data and analytics did was look at their consumer more broadly, and they found that the consumer that purchased that particular brand of shoes had two and a half times the spend of their average consumer. That’s really looking more broadly – not being just linear – taking other data points into the analysis and getting to a richer conclusion for consumer benefit.

 

Copyright © 2017 Oracle. All rights reserved.

This transcript may be edited for readability.

 

SmarterCX Team
The SmarterCX team is comprised of subject matter experts, writers, artists, designers, and CX professionals who are dedicated to building a smarter customer experience.
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