Mastercard mastermind

Mastercard mastermind

For Mastercard,' Gratitude is a must'

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

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MASTERCARD celebrates its first birthday in Jamaica by acknowledging that “gratitude is a must”. The global payment company, which has a strong technology footprint, stepped up its presence in the region and marked its first anniversary by celebrating the strengthened relationships built with a wide range of customers and firming up a deal with Grammy Award winner, Koffee.

The mastermind behind these achievements is Dalton Fowles, a 17-year veteran of banking and telecommunication. He is country manager for Mastercard, Jamaica as well as Trinidad and Tobago, two of the largest markets in the English-speaking Caribbean.

Before joining Mastercard, Fowles held several roles at First Global Bank and Union Bank Jamaica (Sagicor Bank), specialising in payments (card issuing and acquiring), SWIFT, ACH, networks, peer to peer, mobile, online banking and digital self-service channels.

Dalton has also held senior roles at Oceanic Digital Jamaica (Claro), specialising in IT operations and telecoms business systems. He holds an MBA in International Management from Royal Holloway, University of London and a BSc (Honours) in Computing and Management Studies from the University of Technology, Jamaica.

In September, Mastercard inked an exclusive deal with Grammy-winning reggae artiste Koffee as their official brand ambassador in Jamaica. The phrase “gratitude is a must” is a line from her popular song Toast. “Under this partnership, we will build awareness about digital payments and educate consumers and merchants about the convenience, wide acceptance, safety, and security features of Mastercard electronic payment options,” says Fowles.

During his first year, Mastercard focused on working proactively to support small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) by providing digital payment options while pushing financial inclusion to develop a healthier and sustainable economy.

The fundamental strategy was to identify key business opportunities, driving and delivering revenue and profitability for Mastercard and its customers. The pandemic was a reality check for both large businesses and SMEs, as there had been a reluctance to embrace digital transformation. Many were forced to migrate their operations and workforce to a virtual environment. “As a result of the pandemic we have seen a significant shift in behaviour, increased remote work, omnichannel commerce, digital content consumption, platformication, and digital health solutions,” says Fowles.

During this period, Mastercard Jamaica focused on identifying opportunities to increase domestic spend through card-on-file and card-not-present transactions. The pandemic hastened a shift in consumer behaviour from cash to digital payment methods, primarily due to the vast number of citizens realising the benefits of having a bank account, debit or credit card, and the number of SMEs realising the importance of accepting digital payments.

Mastercard forged partnerships with several stakeholders, such as the e-commerce food delivery merchant 7Krave. Merchants with Sonic Brand were also integrated to push notifications for promotions.

Another prime example was the alliance with MD Link, one of Jamaica's telemedicine platforms, which has grown in popularity with approximately 9,000 app downloads. “Their aim is to deliver world-class, patient-focused health care by connecting clients with carefully chosen registered medical practitioners. This has inspired us to give our consumers a discount through their platform while accessing medical care from the safety of their homes during the pandemic,” reveals Fowles.

Mastercard also conducted a contactless acceleration and incentive programme for 30+ major merchants in Jamaica to drive widespread awareness and adoption in the market.

Mastercard's first anniversary is an important one for Fowles and his team who sought to provide Jamaican and Trinidad and Tobago cardholders with the chance to experience their payment products and to show the importance of being grateful. “We are excited about what the future holds, supporting the local economic growth, and having new opportunities to create priceless experiences and digital empowerment for everyone,” Fowles stresses.

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