Earnings Review: On strategy and for growth

April 27, 2023 | By Sachin Mehra

Consumer spending has remained resilient, even with concerns around inflationary pressures and the broader economic environment. On a positive note, we are witnessing a strong labor market, robust consumer savings and the return of cross-border travel to pre-pandemic levels in every region. 

The consumer is an important barometer of the economy — what they buy, where they are focused and how they view the potential over the next few quarters. But there is more to the equation that we’re focused on at Mastercard. It includes a deliberate effort to diversify our business and to differentiate the value that Mastercard delivers to customers, partners, end users and investors. 

We’re looking at providing broader choice in payments, including those made by businesses and governments. That is an opportunity to grow the total value and at scale. Add to that the additional value we deliver through our value-added services like data analytics and cybersecurity. And then there’s the creation of new networks that are adjacent to the payment transaction. 

This is the strategy we outlined roughly two years ago and the strategy that we have delivered on every day since. This focus on strategy is seen as our teams actively manage the business to capitalize on the trends and tailwinds, while navigating the challenges that may arise. 

Today, we reported on our performance for the first quarter of 2023. In our conference call, we discussed our strong quarter and the momentum that we carried into the new year. We delivered net revenue for the first quarter ahead of expectations. To understand our impact over the past three months and what that sets the stage for throughout the year, I’d point to a few examples: 

Expanding in payments: Payments take many forms. As important to that choice is ensuring you can use your Mastercard when and where you want. That’s why we invest in growing the number of acceptance locations – now topping 100 million. It’s also seen in our technologies like Click to Pay checkout online and Cloud Commerce, where we’re making every internet connected device a way to pay and be paid. 

Extending our services: We’re delivering customers more value every day. In the world of cyber, it’s beyond having the right defenses in place and scanning for potential vulnerabilities. With the addition of the Baffin Bay cybersecurity platform, we are delivering tools to enable our customers to take action to protect themselves. And it is pairing the right insights and information to make personalized offers even more personal. 

Embracing new networks: As shared on our call this morning, we continue to see strong adoption of our intelligent identity solutions, helping to streamline the experience while reducing fraud and friction in an increasingly digital world. 

We are proud of this momentum and the impact we have. But we are not taking this for granted. We continue to watch the environment closely and are prepared to act as circumstances dictate. That, combined with our strategy, positions us well for the future.  

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Sachin Mehra, Chief Financial Officer, Mastercard