Ajay Banga: Moving Us To A World Beyond Cash

CEO, Mastercard

It makes sense that MasterCard’s Ajay Banga, CEO of one of the world’s largest credit card companies, would advocate for a world without cash. But his vision goes beyond the obvious business benefit that would bring to his company. According to Banga, cash is not only bad for Purchase-based MasterCard, but it’s also hard to track; too expensive to print, produce, and distribute; and enables illegal activities. “Cash is the dirtiest secret of the modern economy,” he told an audience at the 2014 Wharton Leadership Conference. “It belongs to a 200-year-old economy. It’s being allowed to play a role because it suits vested interests.” Since taking over MasterCard in 2010, Banga has been actively pushing this mission, prodding the company to innovations in mobile payment systems, digital wallets, and touchless transactions.