Business Strategy and Outlook| Brett Horn, CFA |
Mastercard has multiple characteristics that should draw investors’ attention. First, despite the evolution in the payment space, we think a wide moat surrounds the business and view Mastercard’s position in the current global electronic payment infrastructure as essentially unassailable. Second, Mastercard benefits from the ongoing shift toward electronic payments, which provides plenty of opportunities to utilize its wide moat to create value over the long term. Digital payments, on a global basis, surpassed cash payments just a few years ago, suggesting that this trend still has a lot of room to run, and we think emerging markets could offer a further leg of growth even if growth in developed markets slows. Finally, Mastercard is something of a tollbooth business, and the company is relatively agnostic to smaller shifts in the electronic payment space, as it earns fees regardless of whether payment is credit, debit, or mobile.