Ajay Banga, who served as MasterCard CEO from 2010 to 2020, was elected as the 14th president of World Bank in early May, following nomination from the Biden administration in February. Although Banga has extensive private and public sector experience, his decade-long tenure at MasterCard, and his leadership during the company’s massive growth and diversification into eCommerce payments and fraud prevention, likely played a role in his nomination and ultimate election by member states. It will be interesting to see how Banga’s experience as one of the largest payments related companies in the world influences his new role leading the World Bank.
Between 2010 and 2020, while Banga was CEO of MasterCard, the company grew from a $30 billion to $300 billion market capitalization. While MasterCard is recognized globally as a card association first and foremost, the company’s expansion into eCommerce payments and fraud prevention in digital channels was very meaningful during Banga’s time as CEO. This includes MasterCard’s $520 million dollar acquisition of DataCash in 2010 and the 2017 acquisitions of NuData and Brighterion.
Following the World Bank’s announcement of their new president, Joe Biden, President of the United States had this to say about Banga: “Together with World Bank leadership and shareholders, he will help steer the institution as it evolves and expands to address global challenges that directly affect its core mission of poverty reduction — including climate change."
Banga was CEO of MasterCard when the company launched initiatives focused on these issues mentioned by President Biden, including MasterCard’s Center for Inclusive Growth and the company’s Priceless Planet Coalition which set the goal of planting 100 million trees by 2025.
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