Inner Circle

Insider Insights From Those In The Know, a podcast by Mastercard covering the trends, topics and tech driving payments innovation in the Asia Pacific region.

The Perfect Storm of Tech

As technologies reshape the world around us, how are consumers and businesses navigating the shifts that transform the way we live, work, and interact? Unmask the factors behind rising fraud, pitfalls of rapid technological convergence, and the ethical considerations confronting businesses in the age of artificial intelligence.

The Future of the Space Economy

Embark on a journey through the endless potential of space, from the burgeoning field of space tourism to the exciting frontier of asteroid mining. Discover what will drive the growth and transformation of commerce in space.

Navigating Disruptive Innovation with the Cool Kids of Tech

Enter the world of cutting-edge technology and disruptive innovation where we reveal the latest advancements and breakthroughs that are reshaping the digital frontiers, safeguarding our online identities from emerging threats, and confronting the complex challenges of our rapidly evolving digital landscape.

Leading the Way in Clean Energy: What’s Next for Sustainable Payments?

Sustainability has become a hot corporate buzzword, but is it a fad, or here to stay? Marie Soon, APAC head of Sustainability, chats with Eugenia Koh and Mathias Wikström to debunk common misconceptions, explore why going green makes good business sense - and ‘cents’ - and how companies can successfully transition to a low-carbon economy through smart innovation.

future of payments
From Plastic to Pixel: The Future of Payments

Is cash no longer king? Have we reached a ‘cheque-mate’? Natasha Zurnamer and Paul Weingarth are in the hot seat with Connie Cheng, APAC VP of Innovation, to debate the future of payments and answer the big question: Will digital currencies soon replace paper and plastic forms of money?

Payments Trends
Trivia Master - 2022 New Payments Index Edition

The reigning champion of Trivia Master faces off against a new challenger. In this Mastercard game show, who will tackle the tough questions to emerge as the supreme expert on emerging payment trends in APAC?

Inflation: Is The End In Sight?

Supply chain disruptions, rising commodity costs, pent-up demand – just a few of the many drivers behind inflation. In this episode, David Mann, Mastercard’s Chief Economist for AP & MEA, unpacks why inflation is so high, and if higher prices are here to stay.

A Holistic Approach to Women's Economic Empowerment

The list of barriers holding women from participating in the digital economy is long. Still, they are not inevitable—if governments, the private sector and financial services providers work together to remove them. Hear from Payal Dalal, Senior Vice President at the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth on the collective strides made in the region and beyond, and the necessary holistic approach to further promote women’s participation in the economy.

future of payments
Navigating The Digital Assets Landscape

Blockchain, cryptocurrencies, NFTs, CBDCs – what are the opportunities, and what are the risks? In this episode, our experts break down the buzzwords and explore how businesses can harness the power of the digital asset ecosystem to stay relevant to a new generation of crypto natives. Find out more in the ‘Tokens on a chain’ report: https://news.mstr.cd/3d5iHS4

Payments Trends
Problem Solving with Technology

Rama Sridhar speaks with DigFin‘s Jame DiBiasio about how technology is changing the way Mastercard makes decisions, exciting changes afoot in payments, and the massive opportunities as millions of people diversify from relying solely on cash.

Unpacking Asia Pacific’s Travel Recovery

If flight booking trends continue at their current pace, an estimated 430 million more passengers are expected to fly in Asia Pacific in 2022 compared to last year. With border measures relaxing and travel recovery underway for much of the region, Mastercard’s Chief Economist for AP & MEA explains who is the post-pandemic traveler? What do they want to do? Where do they want to go? And how are they getting there?

Trivia Master

In the inaugural episode of this Mastercard game show, Sandeep Malhotra, head of Products & Innovation in APAC, gets grilled on the Mastercard-Zeta global partnership in a bid for the kind of Priceless Prize that most people can only dream about. Will his trusty partner, the CEO of a banking tech unicorn, help him to emerge victorious?

Up for Grabs: The $5.5T B2B Commerce Opportunity

APAC is the B2B commerce capital of the world. Yet less than 1% of the addressable opportunity in industries like electronics, retail and FMCG is actually carded—presenting vast untapped potential for financial institutions. Why is so much being left on the table?

Surviving or Thriving?

Small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) which went online have tripled between pre-pandemic and 2021, with the shift to digital contributing to the incremental $900 billion spent online in 2020. Mastercard Economics Institute’s Chief Economist for APAC & MEA David Mann discusses key takeaways to the different ways APAC SMBs are looking at to reinvent and relaunch to not only survive, but thrive in a digital-first future. Read the "Recovery Insights: Small Business Reset?" report here: https://news.mstr.cd/3FM9vfp

Soundbites Series: Life & Work Lessons for Young Professionals

From her keynote speech at Sparklers Summit 2021, Mastercard's SG100 Women in Tech honoree (2020) Rama Sridhar shares her career and leadership lessons with young professionals.

Travel Ready for Takeoff?

With international borders largely closed and an estimated $5 trillion in excess savings banked in the last year, people are itching to pack their bags again. Mastercard’s Chief Economist for AP & MEA explains the findings from the latest Recovery Insights report, detailing what indicators such as flights booked, road trips taken, and even hairdresser appointments, tell us about the future of travel.

Payments Trends
Supporting Digital India

Join industry veteran Nikhil Sahni, our newly appointed Division President, South Asia & Country Corporate Officer, India for a deep dive into how Mastercard is pioneering some of its most advanced technologies on the subcontinent and supporting India’s transformation to a digital-first, data-first nation.

Payments Trends
Series Finale & Twitter Poll Review

In this Voice Tweet series, we've talked retail trends and consumer views on emerging payments technologies. To close it out, we went direct to the Tweeple. More than 10,000 followers on Twitter told us what they think about cryptocurrency, biometrics and more. #TenOfTen

Payments Trends
Future of Payments

94% of consumers in Asia Pacific will consider using emerging payment methods like digital wallets, cryptocurrency or instalment plans this year. As e-commerce evolves and IoT, 5G and AI converge, what's next for payments? #NineOfTen

Payments Trends
Brand Matters

In response to COVID-19, consumers are experimenting with new ways to buy things. In this Voice Tweet we reveal the macro trends and what retailers and brands need to do to keep up. #EightOfTen

Payments Trends
The Pandemic’s Big Impact on Small Businesses

COVID-19 had an outsized impact on small businesses. And when SMEs suffer, entire economies suffer. With digitization being crucial to their survival, in this Voice Tweet hear how offering digital payments can make a difference. #SevenOfTen

Payments Trends
Payments Security

As 1 in 4 consumers in Asia Pacific were victims of fraud last year, payments security is top of mind. So do people perceive emerging payment technologies to be MORE or LESS secure than other options? Find out in this Voice Tweet.#SixOfTen

Payments Trends
The New Shopping Reality

Did you know COVID-19 compressed five years’ worth of behavior change into just one year? In this Voice Tweet, find out how consumer behavior and spending habits in Asia Pacific have shifted in response to the pandemic. #FiveOfTen

Payments Trends
Biometrics Are Booming

Data breaches, identity theft and password overload are now the norm. In this Voice Tweet, Sandeep examines how biometrics are gaining popularity for safer, easier payments. #FourOfTen

Payments Trends
Cryptocurrency Gains Ground

Cryptocurrency is the hottest topic in digital payments. The Mastercard New Payments Index explores who’s driving this boom - Elon Musk or tech-savvy millennials? This Voice Tweet reveals how APAC is more eager to embrace the technology ahead of the world. #ThreeOfTen

Payments Trends
APAC Quick to Adopt QR Codes

QR code is one of the most popular forms of payment today in APAC, according to the Mastercard New Payments Index. This Voice Tweet explores what’s driving this trend in a post COVID-19 world. #TwoOfTen

Payments Trends
Omni-Choice for Consumers

COVID-19 has altered spending habits and driven a rapid shift to emerging payment technologies. In this Voice Tweet series, hear about the latest consumer trends and insights on QR codes, cryptocurrency, biometrics and more, according to new Mastercard research. #OneOfTen

Payments Trends
What’s Driving the Resurgence in Instalments?

43% of consumers in Asia Pacific would be willing to spend at least 15% more if they could pay by instalments – a compelling proposition for retailers and many in the payments ecosystem. In this discussion, we unpack the surging popularity of “buy now, pay later” offerings and how instalments differ from the layaway plans of old.

The Cyber Threat On Our Shores

As more people live their lives online due to COVID-19, cybercriminals have spotted a lucrative opportunity – and many IoT vulnerabilities to exploit. Tune in to find out what businesses should do about it.

future of payments
The Limitless Potential of Acceptance

In this episode we explore the future of payments acceptance which is changing rapidly in response to COVID. As merchants increasingly seek digital, touchless experiences to keep customers and staff safe, what new possibilities can we explore for payments or loyalty at the point of interaction?

Coopetition - Pipe Dream or Real Thing?

In this episode we explore the concept of coopetition - collaborating with competitors to win. Is it still beneficial for tech companies, or does losing ownership of IP outweigh the benefits? As nationalist sentiment and protectionist tendencies persist, how can companies make the most of it in today’s environment?

Crash Course in Cybersecurity with Karthik Ramanathan

Do you know what happens when you click “pay now” at checkout? How do we verify your identity, process the transaction and stop fraud in its tracks – all within seconds? Tune in to find out.

Post-Pandemic Reboot: Cities, Travel & Trade

Julienne Loh, APAC head of Enterprise Partnerships, tells us about the challenges that these three critical ecosystems are facing, and how governments and businesses can partner to support them and accelerate economic recovery.

Making Cents of the Data with Donald Ong

In our first episode, we speak to Donald Ong, APAC head of Mastercard Advisors, about the role of data, analytics and Test & Learn technology in helping businesses to recover and rebound from the downturn.