Earnings Review: Consistency and collaboration for the opportunities ahead

January 31, 2024 | By Sachin Mehra

While the calendar may have changed a few weeks ago, today’s announcement of our fourth quarter financial performance closes 2023 for the company. As Michael Miebach and I shared an update with our stockholders and the financial community, the key takeaway for me was the consistency, strength and resilience of our strategy and our business to deliver on the goals that we set. 

By the numbers, it was a strong quarter — and a strong year — for Mastercard. The foundations that we have set — in our technology, our people, our differentiated capabilities and our diversified business model — continued to create value for our customers, our company and our stakeholders. As I reflect on the past quarter and look to the year ahead, there are a few trends that I would note: 

Digital: Over the past several years, all of our lives have shifted more online and in-app. Some of this has been a result of world events, but the acceleration is coming from changing preferences for digital experiences. What does that mean for Mastercard? Continuing to fuel the secular shift of payments to digital. It’s about ensuring there’s a way to pay where people want to be. Tokenization and biometrics are making things like Tap on Phone, contactless and Click to Pay simple and secure, embedding payments in the devices that are critical to our lives. These technologies are being scaled across the globe. 

Partnerships: We can — and do — create the best technologies. But they are just a “shiny widget” if they don’t scale to support a business goal or deliver on a personal need? Our teams in every market are focused on understanding our customers’ business and helping them tailor the strategies and solutions that deliver on their objectives. That creates a win-win for all involved. Look at how we have deepened relationships with BOK Financial in the U.S., flipping their debit portfolio to Mastercard. Or Commonwealth Bank of Australia, where we continue to be its  exclusive card partner across consumer credit and debit. And that extends to new areas and verticals served by fintechs. We believe our partnership approach has led more than 80% of the top digital payment and neobank fintechs on CNBC’s global fintech list to choose to work with us. 

Innovation: We are using the technology and the experiences that we have created and cultivated to deliver the services and new networks that are proving to be so important across customer types and verticals. Our data-driven insights, consulting and personalization services and laser focus on cybersecurity is helping financial institutions, retailers and governments operate faster and more efficiently to support small businesses and consumers. We continue to push ourselves to explore new technologies to build on this, as seen in the new Shopping Muse, which uses generative AI to offer a conversational, personal shopper experience in the online world. 

These trends and these results don’t happen by themselves. They are a result of the work and drive of our talented teams across the globe. While 2024 is just beginning, our teams are already leaning into these experiences and this momentum to create new opportunities.  

So, as the year continues, our commitment to you remains the same — a focus on priorities that will create value in the short, medium and long term. This is how we execute on our strategy and manage the things that we can control to continue to deliver value to our stakeholders. 

Photo of Sachin Mehra
Sachin Mehra, Chief Financial Officer, Mastercard