Mastercard Incorporated, a technology company, provides transaction processing and other payment-related products and services in the United States and internationally. It facilitates the processing of payment transactions, including authorization, clearing, and settlement, as well as delivers related products and services. The company also offers value-added services, such as loyalty and reward programs, information and consulting services, issuer and acquirer processing solutions, and payment and mobile gateways. In addition, it provides various payment products and solutions for cardholders, merchants, financial institutions, and governments; programs that enable issuers to provide consumers with cards to defer payments; payment products and solutions that allow its customers to access funds in deposit and other accounts; prepaid payment programs and management services; and commercial payment products and solutions. Further, the company provides products and services to prevent, detect, and respond to fraud and cyber-attacks, and ensure the safety of transactions. It offers payment solutions and services under the MasterCard, Maestro, and Cirrus brands. Mastercard Incorporated was founded in 1966 and is headquartered in Purchase, New York.
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Visa’s Investment Shows Plaid Could Replace Libra in Fintech Space
Visa (NYSE:V), seeking entrance into the center of 21st century banking, has joined MasterCard (NYSE:MA) in taking a stake in fintech startup Plaid. Plaid writes application program interfaces that act as the infrastructure beneath bank accounts. This lets it power customer-facing fintech specialists like PayPal's (NASDAQ:PYPL) Venmo, Robinhood, Chime and Betterment.Source: Shutterstock Enabling new banking services could make Plaid a sort of Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) for the fintech age -- an operating system for computerized banking.Plaid has attracted $310 million in financing. Its most recent funding round valued it at $2.7 billion. Other backers include Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), Citigroup (NYSE:C) and American Express (NYSE:AXP).InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsBut it's Visa and MasterCard, which have a joint value of almost $700 billion, that are the real get. They have global scale, brand names and good reputations for security and reliability. Battling AlibabaPlaid is ranked as the eighth largest fintech startup. The list is led by credit card issuer Stripe and includes SoFi, a lender whose name will grace the new Los Angeles football stadium. Fintech companies raised a total of nearly $40 billion last year.Fintech startups are trying to get around the high costs of working with the present banking system. Visa and Mastercard are part of that. But Visa and Mastercard are also trying to get around those costs, seeing the growth of chat-based Chinese payment systems from Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) and Tencent Holding (OTCMKTS:TCEHY). * 7 Momentum Stocks to Buy On the Dip There was an assumption that Facebook's (NASDAQ:FB) Libra -- a cheaper payment system riding on FB's data network -- might be the first to escape the high costs. Both Visa and MasterCard were part of Libra's 28-member founding group announced in June. But there are increasing doubts that financial regulators will allow Libra to launch, as many fear Facebook's size. These regulators seem to have no such fears regarding the payment processors. The Fintech StackThe investment in Plaid, which already serves cryptocurrency companies like Coinbase, brings Visa and MasterCard closer to the new financial world's operating system.Fintech is building a new financial payments stack. Right now, most of the value in the stack is in the loans it creates or the investments it enables. But as the software stack evolves, history shows that it's the company at the bottom of that stack that gains the most power, as Microsoft did starting in the early 1990s.Plaid CEO Zach Perret said his goal is to create a digitized financial system. Visa executive Bill Sheedy said his strategic goal is more important than the financial investment.That strategic goal increasingly looks like a bank. Verifying users and account balances is key to enabling loans, payments and investment -- essentially all the functions of banks like JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM). Visa stock's market cap exceeded that of JPMorgan just in the last year. Many Plaid customers compete directly with banks like JPMorgan. The Bottom Line for Visa Stock and PlaidWhile Visa's payment network has proven to have enormous financial power, it still faces challenges. It can charge merchants up to 3% of a transaction's cost to process through its network. The money is soaked up by processors and banks that are part of the Visa stock network.These payment networks won't work in developing nations. The cost is too high for small merchants to bear. Instead of staying with cash, many are moving to cheaper fintech alternatives that can run through customers' mobile phones.Whether these merchants will stay with Chinese and Indian payment systems, or seek Western alternatives to access Western wallets, remains an open question. The Plaid investment shows just how desperate Visa and Mastercard are to answer that question in the affirmative.Dana Blankenhorn is a financial and technology journalist. He is the author of the environmental story, Bridget O'Flynn and the Bear, available at the Amazon Kindle store. Write him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter at @danablankenhorn. As of this writing he owned shares in MSFT, BABA and JPM. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 Momentum Stocks to Buy On the Dip * 7 Dow Titans Breaking Higher * 5 Growth Stocks to Sell as Rates Move Higher The post Visa's Investment Shows Plaid Could Replace Libra in Fintech Space appeared first on InvestorPlace.
Mastercard Board of Directors Announces Quarterly Dividend
Mastercard Incorporated (MA) today announced that its Board of Directors has declared a quarterly cash dividend of 33 cents per share. The cash dividend will be paid on November 8, 2019 to holders of record of its Class A common stock and Class B common stock as of October 9, 2019. Mastercard (MA), www.mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry.
The negative reputation of Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) looks increasingly likely to stifle its efforts to build out the Libra cryptocurrency. Despite having a 28-company consortium behind it and Facebook's efforts to reassure governments that its mobile money complies with regulations, resistance to FB's involvement seems to be hardening.Source: justplay1412 / Shutterstock.com Facebook has created a $533 billion market cap in 15 years, compared to the $378 billion JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) created in 150 years. FB built its market cap on a network of cloud data centers and free consumer services.A joint statement from French and German regulators seems unequivocal. "We believe that no private entity can claim monetary power, which is inherent to the sovereignty of Nations," representatives from the two nations wrote. European governments say they want a stable cryptocurrency, but only a cryptocurrency that they control.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips Is Facebook's Libra a Threat to Banking?The Libra Association consists of 28 founding members, including Visa (NYSE:V), Mastercard (NYSE:MA) and PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL). Those three companies alone have a market cap of over $800 billion. Visa, like Facebook, is worth more than JPMorgan Chase. Payments, traditionally the job of banks, already circulate through dedicated payment networks.In theory, Libra is just a cheaper way of processing transactions. Libra coins would be tied to existing currencies and processed like credit card transactions. But transaction details wouldn't enter the world of "real money," so merchant fees would be eliminated. * 7 Momentum Stocks to Buy On the Dip The problem is that Calibra, a unit of Facebook, would handle the wallets. This seems to be behind government rejection of Libra. Regulators fear that the popularity of Facebook services, which already reach nearly two billion people, would allow it to create its own banking system. U.S. regulators also fear that Libra could be used by terrorists or as a money laundering instrument.Banks, strictly regulated by governments, are not part of the Libra group or process. JPMorgan Chase has its own coin, dubbed JPM Coin, and customer trials are underway. Big traders are getting the benefits of stable coins. Small merchants and consumers are not.Government resistance is spooking some Libra backers, who are thinking of walking away. Facebook, meanwhile, is tired of being the only company sticking its neck out. The Payment World TurnsMeanwhile, the payment world continues to turn.Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) and Tencent Holding (OTCMKTS:TCEHY) already have cost-effective, chat-based payment systems. India's Unified Payments Interface is increasingly popular. Indian mobile wallets, some backed by Alibaba, are accepted by African merchants. European banks are working with these African payment networks rather than rejecting them.Other cryptocurrencies are jumping into the payments space, claiming to be Libra's competitors. None are likely to gain traction, because they lack market penetration. But they could serve as guinea pigs for banks that want to operate cryptocurrency. One, or several, might then be acquired by banks or other payment processors and slowly scaled to compete. The Bottom Line on FB Stock and LibraTransaction processing systems have a First World problem. Their costs are only acceptable in the First World.Many nations can't afford the fees that Visa and Mastercard charge through local banks. Facebook promised such a mechanism to avoid high fees. Facebook has a global, scaled, cloud-based data network on which low-cost transaction processing services could ride. This would in theory allow Visa and MasterCard to compete with the Chinese and Indian payment groups.But Facebook's leadership of Libra frightens governments. Nations see Facebook as a threat to government sovereignty in a way that Visa and Mastercard are not.Before Libra can get going, Facebook may have to take a back seat in its own invention.Dana Blankenhorn is a financial and technology journalist. He is the author of the environmental story, Bridget O'Flynn and the Bear, available at the Amazon Kindle store. Write him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @danablankenhorn. As of this writing he owned shares in BABA and JPM. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 Momentum Stocks to Buy On the Dip * 7 Dow Titans Breaking Higher * 5 Growth Stocks to Sell as Rates Move Higher The post Facebook's Reputation May Cause Libra to Fail appeared first on InvestorPlace.