This year will mark 10 years since Martina Hund-Mejean was named chief financial officer of Mastercard, and it has certainly been an eventful decade.
Hund-Mejean arrived in the fall of 2007, during what turned out to be the calm before the storm. Mastercard was settling into its new status following its IPO the previous year, and card purchase volume was rising steadily.
That all changed a few months later when the global economic crash hit, triggering a sharp slide in Mastercard’s payments volume and widespread fallout for card issuers worldwide. By 2010 Hund-Mejean had a new boss, with CEO Ajay Banga charting an aggressive path for Mastercard to embrace mobile and digital payments in response to Silicon Valley’s rising tide of fintech and payments startups.
Hund-Mejean was the perfect fit for this mix of challenge and change, and she continues to bring tremendous energy to the role as she makes a return appearance as one of PaymentsSource’s Most Influential Women in Payments.
She recently visited the company’s tech hub in Pune, India.
"If you look at what has helped me be the best partner to our executive team or to our investors and board, it would be my insatiable curiosity,” Hund-Mejean said. “As CFO, it’s certainly important to know the numbers and financials. But beyond the functional role, it’s just as important to be able to immerse yourself in the business and understand how a decision or product in one area can impact your ability to deliver against your objectives in another area.”
Hund-Mejean realizes no one actually looks forward to making a payment. “That’s
not exactly the most exciting part of the interaction,” she said.
Instead, it’s Mastercard’s job is eliminate complexity to make payments invisible and seamless at every level.
“We really want to own the concept of simplicity,” Hund-Mejean said. “To be effective—regardless of your role—you need to be able to distill complex ideas and programs. You’ve got to think about what the customer is trying to do, not what you want to offer or sell them.”
That goal plays out daily for Hund-Mejean in her role on the executive team. “The company will only succeed if there is a common understanding of what the opportunity is, the problem that needs to be solved and how you will all come together to deliver on it.”
What makes it all work for Hund-Mejean as she balances her work and personal life: her iPad. “It connects me to the day-to-day needs of the job, as well as my family and life outside of the office.”
Technology is changing everyone’s daily routines, she notes. “In our business and in today’s world, our physical and digital lives are coming closer together."
Working with Mastercard’s Women’s Leadership Network has given Hund-Mejean fresh perspective on how the world is changing. “Countries will work together to have their people and economies advance, if we want to bring more people into the middle class. And it’s important to focus on giving everyone a chance.”