As headlines continue to buzz with the evolution of the metaverse, it is augmented reality (AR) that stands out as the transformative force likely to reshape the way we work, shop, and play in the immediate future. Mastercard, a global leader in payments and technology, is strategically focusing on immersive commerce, with Ken Moore, the Chief Innovation Officer, expressing enthusiasm for the vast potential that lies ahead.
Moore highlights the deployment of technology in the physical world, creating novel and immersive experiences. Examples include a restaurant in Beijing where surroundings change based on the ordered food, and retail stores in the United States allowing customers to photograph items and explore the inventory for alternative options. In the realm of esports, AR glasses are set to revolutionize the fan experience, offering real-time player stats, market values, and interactive avatar engagement.
Underpinning these advancements, Moore identifies three major trends: a redefinition of value, the integration of technology into the physical world, and heightened global awareness of Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) criteria.
Regarding value, Moore notes the broadening definition, extending beyond traditional measures like cash to include loyalty points, cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and even contributions to the energy grid. He emphasizes the need for secure and ubiquitous exchange across these diverse asset classes.
In terms of technology overlay, Moore envisions the transformational impact of not just AR and virtual reality but also the role of 5G, the Internet of Things (IoT), and other technologies in creating a hyper-connected and interactive world.
Lastly, Moore underscores the growing significance of ESG considerations. Inclusivity and sustainability are becoming central to product design and services, reflecting a transformative shift in commerce. Consumer awareness of product origins, labor practices, and sustainability credentials is rising, making it crucial to integrate ESG principles into the products and services delivered.
From boardroom conversations to consumer consciousness, Mastercard is navigating the ESG landscape, integrating cutting-edge technology, and maintaining its industry-leading position through innovation and strategic vision, shaping the future of payments.