Thanks to the advent of the internet and ecommerce, more and more consumers are opting to pay digitally. Gone are the days of long queues at the bank to withdraw or deposit your money, and subsequently the days spent worrying about your cash being stolen. Credit cards, debit cards, prepaid cards and now mobile wallets have paved the way towards a cashless, worry-free world.
As per a MasterCard survey conducted last April in the US, around 73% consumers said that they were using less cash than they did 10 years ago. The survey did confirm that Americans across all age groups were shifting towards a cashless society. And, MasterCard has been leading the way where electronic payment solutions are more efficient and secure and lead to greater opportunity for people and businesses everywhere.
Paving the path towards a world beyond cash, MasterCard, the technological pillars of the global payments industry, launched the ‘World Beyond Cash’ campaign this April in India. The month-and-a-half long campaign is a pan-India digital contest where students and young professionals from over 140 leading colleges and institutes have been invited to submit their ideas of a world beyond cash.
Any ideas that could be an alternative to cash-based transactions can be submitted in the form of text, photo, video or script. While the first set of winners have been selected by senior MasterCard representatives, an eminent jury panel of Prasoon Joshi, Rama Bijapurkar, Georgette Tan and Jye Smith will select the final winners by July 7. The best entries will be rewarded with Nikon cameras, Nokia Lumias and Macbooks, in addition to a certificate of recognition from MasterCard.
MasterCard India has created a Facebook app for the ‘World Beyond Cash’ campaign, in addition to running a contest at Talenthouse, India’s largest crowdsourcing platform for creative talent.
The Facebook app features the campaign video which gives the viewer an idea of the kind of ideas the contest is looking for. In addition, there is an ‘Idea Bank’ tab that lists more ideas to inspire like ‘Pay Watch’ - a smart watch linked to a user’s bank account, that can be used to make instant payments, and ‘Smart Refrigerator’ that detects low levels of milk, etc. and orders them automatically.
Ideas can be submitted by an individual or as a group, in the form of text, photo or video. While the text entry can be a poem, an essay or a comprehensive explanation of your idea, the photo entry needs to have a brief description to explain the idea in the form of a photograph, illustration or flowchart. Videos can be simple explanations or a song not more than 5 minutes, that has already been uploaded on YouTube.
Connecting with the youth
In the past few years, the world has seen the emergence of innovative ways to pay, especially those means of payment that eliminate the hassles involved with carrying and paying in cash. Not surprisingly, a service provider like MasterCard has to be on top of mind in this world that is increasingly shifting towards cashless transactions.
The ‘World beyond Cash’ contest will not only help catalyze the brand’s vision towards a world without cash, but also help engage with the growing youth of the nation - a significant demographic considering that India is all set to be the youngest country by 2020. The growth of smartphone sales in the country coupled with young minds will also help boost the way payments are made going forward.
Most often the early adopters for new technology, youth help define the future. Hence, a campaign like ‘World beyond Cash’ that engages them and seeks to crowdsource ideas for a cashless world from them, will go far in brand building. Using Facebook, the most popular network in India, as the campaign platform and partnering with TalentHouse India will only help spread the word among the target community.