Mastercard Sees Vaccine News Speeding Up Return to Office

Mastercard Inc.’s incoming chief executive officer said promising data on coronavirus vaccines could mean the firm is able to bring workers back to the office faster than it originally hoped.

Mastercard has introduced a bevy of new products in the last nine months even with the majority of its employees working from home, President Michael Miebach, who takes over as CEO next month, said during an interview at the Singapore Fintech Festival that aired on Monday. Still, he said, the firm believes in bringing workers back once the pandemic subsides.

“With the news on vaccines, I think this situation of us being able to get back together maybe earlier than we thought I think is a real possibility,” Miebach said. “That will help. But, in the meantime, we’re making the most of it.”

Spending on the company’s cards faltered this year as businesses shuttered and consumers largely stayed inside to stem the spread of the virus. In the early days of the pandemic, Mastercard partnered with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and others to commit as much as $125 million to speed development and access to vaccines and other therapies for Covid-19.

Miebach said Mastercard has seen more demand from governments and technology companies to partner and use its data in new ways during the pandemic. For instance, the firm this year unveiled a tool that allows consumers to see whether a store or restaurant is actually open once social distancing restrictions are eased in their area.

“We have that data but we’ve never used it for that purpose,” Miebach said. “I’m sensing for six, seven months at least, a much higher willingness to partner than I’ve ever seen before.”

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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