Today was my first day at Mastercard. An ordered list of things I did today:
1) Went to Mastercard and had to spend fifteen minutes figuring out where it actually was because Mrs. Frank accidentally told me 114 Broadway (which is in south Manhattan) when it’s 114 5th Avenue, which is Midtown. Luckily I didn’t actually go to south Manhattan but I almost did.
2) Went to a presentation on how to apply for a patent and the incentives Mastercard offers with each filing and approval.
3) Went to sit in on a huge team meeting. They had people Skype in from Singapore, London, and Pune.
4) Had lunch with Mrs. Frank and one of her team members, Missy.
5) Met with a Tunisian guy named David Liscia who helps oversee the software development for Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Android Pay.
6) Even though my day isn’t over I’m writing this because I have an unscheduled hour and I don’t want to look like I’m not doing anything.
Some things I’ve learned today:
1) Samsung Pay works by simulating a card swipe and fooling the magnetic strip–versus Apple and Android Pay working via Bluetooth. This is why they’re not all available at the same locations.
2) Since Mastercard doesn’t actually issue their cards, they’re reliant on big accounts like Citi, Bank of America, American Airlines, and others to issue them. Each of those has a person here who’s job is literally just to serve them and make sure they don’t switch over to Visa or something. I’ve been thinking of it a lot like the paper accounts at Dunder Mifflin and how Mr. Deckert was a huge client for them. That’s made this all a little easier to comprehend.
3) Mastercard is heavily incentivizing the patenting process in an effort to create more patents, and it’s working. I just signed a super detailed confidentiality thing and now I’m paranoid so I won’t put the numbers on the internet, but they’ve had a crazy increase in the number of patents filed since they paid people extra to do it. And they’ve also made the process super easy for the employees to complete with a dashboard that shows what’s still pending, etc.
4) There’s legal definitions for all sorts of things that I didn’t realize were legal terms, like inventor.
5) Each company has stereotypes, and everyone seems to be quite aware of them. People from Samsung like to launch things with minimal testing and then iron out the kinks once they’re already on the market (hence the exploding phones). This can make it rather difficult for those employees to transition into a career at a very precise, trial-happy workplace like Apple or Mastercard.
6) They have to be super sure that their stuff works perfectly. Because if you’re at the grocery store with fifteen things at the register and your Mastercard gets falsely declined, you’ll just pull out your Amex, and then Mastercard loses business.
7) Last thing–false declines cost them 13 times as much revenue as actual fraud does. They’re currently in the brainstorming phase to work on cutting down false declines and some pretty futuristic, biometric stuff is in the works. It’s crazy to hear about that stuff as realistic possibilities.