Mastercard Sonic Soars as Remote Falkland Islands Adopt Latest Payment Technology

September 9, 2020 | By ljefferys

As part of London Tech Week, Mastercard, Square and the Falkland Islands Government will announce a new partnership - Connecting the Falklands - tasked with solving one of the greatest challenges facing the Islands' businesses - accepting card and digital payments.

The Falkland Islands lie 8,000 miles from London in a remote and beautiful location, To date, many of the Islands’ businesses have been cash-only but now, through this transformative project, local businesses are at the forefront of payment and marketing innovation.

As part of the tools Square and Mastercard equipped sellers with, Mastercard’s sonic brand soars around this stunning backdrop, where penguins outnumber residents by more than 100:1. The sonic acceptance mark has been integrated in the payment terminals, providing a new tempo for brand expression as well as consumer familiarity.

The Mastercard sound of acceptance is a short, unique and memorable sound that is played when a transaction takes place, connecting consumers with the Mastercard brand in a new way whilst providing audio reassurance that their payments have been made successfully.

Mark Barnett, President of Mastercard Europe, said: “Connecting with our cardholders in new and exciting ways is at the top of our innovation agenda so we’re delighted to help introduce card payments and new sonic moments to the Falklands Islands. With tens of thousands of visitors from all over the world shopping and spending on the islands every year, enabling card payments, with the familiar Mastercard sonic, offers both businesses and cardholders reassurance of any purchase, and solves for the limitations of whatever cash visitors are carrying.”

Barnett continues: “Using terminals with sonic capability puts the local sellers at the forefront of payment and marketing innovation and it’s great to see a community rooted in tradition, with such a strong pioneering spirit, support the latest advancements to better their businesses and the experiences of locals and future tourists.”

Hattie and Kevin Kilmartin run Bluff Cove, a tour company with a gift shop and museum that was the first to trial the technology. Their previously cash-only business now takes 80% of their annual revenue through sonic-enabled Square payment terminals. “The impact has been significant. Our business is a long drive from the capital Stanley, so our takings were literally limited by the amount of cash in someone’s pocket,” said Kevin. “Now people can spend significantly more with us.”

The story of Connecting the Falklands has been captured by reportage photographer and director Jane Stockdale and cinematographer Max Cuttings, who visited the islands earlier this year. Stockdale captured the stories of the Falkland businesses, and the positive impact technology is having on the way they live and work. Visitors can hear the sellers’ stories and learn more about island life through the beautiful photography and films through the dedicated website, which launches today.

Jane Stockdale said, “The Falkland Islands are a place like no other. We loved meeting the business owners and documenting their stories of what it’s like to run a small business somewhere so remote. In our films and photography we pay tribute to their individual journey's and share the stories of their entrepreneurial spirit.”

As Mastercard builds its sensory brand, the sonic identity and its use cases continue to grow, offering consumers new touchpoints with the brand whilst also acting as a powerful way to instill consumer trust in payments.

Mastercard debuted its sonic brand identity early last year and launched the sonic acceptance mark in its first live retail environment at The 148th British Golf Open.

Watch the main film here.


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