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Leapfrogging into the Future

Theodore Iacobuzio |

I recently returned from the MasterCard Latin America Caribbean (LAC) regional Leadership Forum in Buenos Aires, and my head is full of the importance of mobile to the future of payments in the region—never mind globally.

Like everybody else there I was very impressed with the keynoter, new media expert Robert Tercek , whose message was, if infinitely detailed in delivery, extremely simple in concept:  If you want to control the future, you have to create it.

I wasn’t the only one pondering the implications of this insight. Numerous attendees, representing all kinds of institutions from Mexico to Argentina, told me they thought the region could leapfrog chip—not EMV —and go directly from mag stripe to mobile as a form factor.

This leapfrog effect is one of the things the Global Insights group at MasterCard is pondering as we formulate our Mobile Payments Fitness Index (MPFI), a rigorous ranking of the G20 nations in terms of their ability, and, on the part of consumers, willingness to initiate payments from mobile devices.

If the energy and engagement in Buenos Aires were any indication, the Index, which should emerge in early days of 2012, could include some surprises.

Topics: Payments Strategy

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