Mastercard dropped its name from its logo — to better connect with users in the digital age. Source: Shutterstock

Mastercard dropped its name from its logo — to better connect with users in the digital age. Source: Shutterstock

Mastercard’s new logo — a case study in digital transformation?

WHILE most companies are worrying about upgrading their systems and processes in order to climb the digital maturity curve, some — like Mastercard — are focusing on the bigger picture.

The financial services giant popular for its payments solution, with its logo featuring on several debit and credit cards for the past few decades, recently droped the brand “mastercard” from its logo.

“It reflects our readiness and optimism about the future – simple, modern, connected, and optimized for digital,” said Mastercard APAC Marketing and Communications Senior VP Rustom Dastoor in an exclusive interview with Tech Wire Asia.

In fact, Dastoor reveals that the decision is part of a larger vision to better integrate the brand into tomorrow’s digitally connected world fuelled by the internet of things (IoT).

Mastercard believes every connected device can be a payments device.

“This is part of the changes already taking place in the consumer and digital landscape. We are living in a time where we communicate increasingly not only through words but icons and symbols, so our brand needs to be more flexible, relevant and dynamic while we innovate digital products and services to deliver a vision of connected commerce.”

Internal studies undertaken by the company found that more than 80 percent of consumers spontaneously recognized the Mastercard Symbol without the word “Mastercard®” — fuelling ambitions to join the handful of brands recognized by symbol alone — such as Nike and McDonald’s.

According to Dastoor, millennials are fast adopting new technologies and driving the evolution of mobile digital payment growth and behavior.

They’re making purchases online, using conversational commerce, such as Alexa or Google Assistant, and are more comfortable with digital transactions for everyday activities such as buying coffee or groceries, taking public transport and so on.

“In a crowded digital space, symbols become universal and transcend languages and cultures.

“The Mastercard Symbol represents our brand better than one word ever could, and we are confident that the modern design will allow it to work seamlessly across all digital platforms, retail channels, and connected devices, bringing simplicity and clarity.”

While the company’s efforts to align its brand with the modern, tech-savvy customer is commendable, it’s important to note that such a “refresh” is much needed for many institutions in the financial services space — especially at a time when new-age fintech brands seem to better connect with and appeal to today’s users.

Mastercard’s efforts to transform the company aren’t limited to altering its image. The company is working with several vendors to boost cybersecurity and deliver a great user experience.

“We are working with key partners in the public and private sectors to secure the payments ecosystems with EMV, end-to-end encryption, tokenization, and authentication.

“Additionally, we acquired companies like NuData and Brighterion in 2017 to enhance safety and security and to protect the digital ecosystem.”

Obviously, Mastercard has significant challenges ahead as well.

For example, the company’s debut in China has been delayed as a result of the country’s central bank refusing to acknowledge applications permitting the company to process renminbi payments.

The longer the delay, the longer the company misses out on a US$124 trillion market.

Overall, it seems Mastercard is working on creating a better future for customers and for itself — and although it might not be a smooth journey to the top, the company is definitely preparing to gain a large share of tomorrow’s IoT-powered connected payments market.