MasterCard (NYSE:MA) has been around for 50 years, but believe it or not, it is still a growth company.
MasterCard's CEO, Ajay Banja, recently said:
The future of money won't be about cash or the form it takes. The future of money and commerce will be about breaking down barriers and increasing access for more people across both geographies and incomes. Why? Because with the right payment systems and new innovations in place, how you pay for things drives greater equality of opportunity in society.
He highlighted the changes which will mark the payments industry in the coming years. They will allow for greater inclusion and equality for the more than 2.5 billion adults who don't have access to "the financial mainstream," which allows them do things like pay bills, save money, or borrow, all that we "take for granted."
Only half of the world's adult population have access to a formal financial instituion:
But that was only half the story.
The massive opportunity
One of the most fascinating bits of insight for investors came when Banga revealed:
We're already seeing the use of money in the form of cash and checks decline and the use of electronic payments increase. Keep in mind, we're at the beginning of this journey, as 85% of the world's retail transactions are still done in cash and check. It's a journey that will get us to a world of greater equality and financial inclusion.
MasterCard has been around since 1966, but this is still a company in the early stages of its growth.
The opportunity that exists across the globe is truly astounding. Outside of the United States, MasterCard saw its purchase volume grow by 15% on a local currency basis from the first quarter of 2013 to the first quarter of 2014. And 65% of its purchases come from foreign countries:
The reality is, even despite the fact it is a household name, and in the majority of homes a household product (more than 343 million cards in the U.S. alone) there is so much potential growth which awaits MasterCard and the broader payments industry across the globe. And it is only beginning to scratch the surface of that.
As a reason for optimism, all signs point to this possible growth and expansion not only benefiting MasterCard and its investors, but perhaps billions of people across our planet.