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MasterCard, Inc.'s (MA) CEO Ajaypal Singh Banga on Q1 2014 Earnings - Call Transcript

Stocks in this article: MA

And then on the other hand - and we're having a very open, by the way, transparent discussion with the Central Bank, which as you expect with a good regulator, you would expect that transparency of discussion. Clearly there is a political circumstance in Russia that is driving in a different direction. This whole thing of having domestic payment schemes is not new to us, Bob. We're dealing with this in Europe for a long time before SEPA which of course changed it, and as you know, that's opened the doors for us there, but recently in Mexico, which has always been dominated domestically by two domestic payment switches that were owned by the banks. The Mexican government has just literally, and I think it's three or four weeks ago, has put out a new regulation that actually opens that space for people like us and our competitors to attempt to begin to process domestic transactions.

Now it will be a long road. Nothing happens over night. I mean SEPA has been one of the longest winding roads that we can think of but it's there. We're going to go after that kind of stuff. So stuff comes in and stuff goes out. I don't know that any one incident makes that whole domestic payment switch versus foreign company working here, whether it changes the balance greatly. Stuff comes in, stuff goes out. People keep talking to us. You get peaks and troughs of conversation around that space. And remember within it there are flavors. There's domestic payment switch versus on-soil processing, what constitutes on-soil level is still in the earlier answer is in itself a very detailed conversation. So that's kind of the whole element there.

China, we continue to grow in China with the partnership that we have with China UnionPay. As you know, they're winning, I'd say the overwhelming majority of the co-brands that get issued for domestic use [ph] with a blurb (64:12) on it and for overseas travel with MasterCard on it. And that's a good thing. We're also doing things with them on eCommerce. We're doing things with them on expanding acceptance in China and outside. But as far as the regulator is concerned, my sense is that they're actually working their way through what kind of policy they would have to open up their domestic market while ensuring that their country's needs are met and protected.

So I don't know that you'll go from having a completely closed domestic market to a U.S. kind of market. I never expected that to tell you the truth. The question is where in the middle, does it come? And honestly, I don't know enough about that to let you know. I was there, I don't know, five, six weeks ago at the China Development Forum when I go and speak there and I talked about a few things and met a number of regulators. I met senior leaders there. And my sense is they're very engaged and very open about the dialogue, but they're not there yet. They're still working their way through it.

<Q - Bob Napoli - William Blair & Co. LLC>: Great. Thank you.

<A - Barbara Gasper - MasterCard, Inc.>: Operator, I think we have time for one last question.

Operator: Of course. And our last question will be from Darrin Peller from Barclays. Go right ahead.

<Q - Darrin Peller - Barclays Capital, Inc.>: Thanks, guys. Listen, I thought your comments on the European regulations [ph] pertaining to the Russians implications, Chase (65:28) all three of those not impacting your guidance I guess long term is helpful. I just want to be clear, first of all: that is long-term, right? That's the 11% to 14% CAGR you're talking about? And then Martina, just as a follow-up around the dilution, I guess you mentioned earlier I think from acquisitions during the year being $0.06 to $0.07 now versus $0.01 to $0.02 earlier in the year. Can you just give a little more color on what's different now than in January? Maybe you can just frame the size, the relative size, of the deals?

<A - Ajay Banga - MasterCard, Inc.>: Let me answer the first part and let her do the acquisition part as well. Let me give a little clarity on that. I want to make sure that you hear where I'm coming from. The guidance we're referring to is up 2013 through 2015. That's the guidance we have given. That's what's called our long-term guidance.

<Q - Darrin Peller - Barclays Capital, Inc.>: Right.

<A - Ajay Banga - MasterCard, Inc.>: I believe that what's going on between Russia and the European regulation, Russia actually could be even more complicated given the level of detail we're having here as a conversation. Europe could be - some early impact which could be negative but there could be ways if we are innovative, if we are creative, and if we are competitive on the ground, I continue to believe that Europe is an enormous opportunity given that so much of Europe's expenditure outside of the Nordics is still in cash. And I think we bring a lot of assets to the table for the European government, and the European consumer, and the European merchant, and the European banks, and the European MNOs who are now good partners of ours.

So that's where we're coming from and we think that there's a lot of negative in there, but there's a lot of positives too in a business like ours. Conversion of secular trends, the market share we're winning, the deals we are doing, and somewhere in there is our attempt to balance and get to the guidance that we're giving you. It won't be easy but it's what we are committed to doing. And we have in the past found our way through somewhat complicated situations and I have some confidence that's what we're doing here too.

<A - Martina Hund-Mejean - MasterCard, Inc.>: So, as you can appreciate, we had to do a number of scenarios that gives us the comfort that we can go to the 11% to 14% for the 2013 to 2015 period. And that, you know, we feel comfortable that we can do that. Now, you asked your second question on the acquisitions. What changed is what acquisitions we have made. So first of all, we had only two acquisitions, Provus and HomeSend. This is the processing play as well as the remittance play that we talked about on the fourth quarter earnings call in January.

<Q - Darrin Peller - Barclays Capital, Inc.>: Sure.

<A - Martina Hund-Mejean - MasterCard, Inc.>: And they were relatively small properties. The other two that we have announced, one we have now closed, was see C-SAM that already Ajay quoted in terms of the mobile platform capabilities that C-SAM brings to us. That is a relatively larger property, as well as Pinpoint which is the loyalty play in Australia that will allow us to actually expand our loyalty capabilities all over Asia Pacific. That hasn't closed by the way. Both of those are a little larger, and that leads to the $0.06 to $0.08.

<Q - Darrin Peller - Barclays Capital, Inc.>: Okay. Got it.

<A - Ajay Banga - MasterCard, Inc.>: Pinpoint is also factored into Martina's thinking even though it's not closed. That's the real clarity that we want to make sure you get. And by the way back to the earlier question to make sure you feel comfortable where we're coming from, honestly what made me comfortable is the fact that there's a range there. And I don't know yet. I have no crystal ball to tell you I'll end up where in that range, and I know I'm going to have ups and downs, but that's what you guys invest in us for, which is to stay committed to trying to get to the right market share and revenue growth, and that's what we're going to do.

<Q - Darrin Peller - Barclays Capital, Inc.>: All right. Very helpful, guys. Thanks.

Operator: And, Barbara, do you have any final remarks?

Barbara L. Gasper, Head-Investor Relations

I'm going to turn the call over to Ajay for just a second.

Ajaypal Singh Banga, President and Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, Adrianna. So, everybody, thank you for your questions and I'm going to leave you with a couple closing thoughts. So we're off to a very good start in 2014. We feel good about them despite the mixed economic conditions. And I think we all believe those mixed economic conditions will probably be around for the near term. We do have some challenges with Russia and the European payments industry regulation, with the new wrinkle of commercial cards potentially being included that I just talked about. But you know what, there are opportunities too around the world which we believe give us some balance, and that's what the answer was just now in the last question about our guidance.

As Martina said, we're staying with our long-term guidance. We continue to make good progress on winning deals around the world, including our singles and doubles in U.S. consumer credit. We're also investing in new technology and other services. We're doing it organically. You heard about that through MasterPass, and tokenization. We're also doing it through acquisitions, C-SAM which will help us scale MasterPass and other things in that space, the loyalty acquisition Provus and processing and so on. All of these help increase our share, they're creating new opportunities for our business and, most importantly, they're driving the conversion of that fat target of 85% cash that exists in the world.

So all in all, our business continues with strong momentum. We're focused on delivering another good year. And I want to thank you all for your continued support and your consideration of what we are doing, and thank you for joining today's call.

Operator: Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. This concludes today's conference. Thank you for participating. You may now disconnect.

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