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across the globe today, the ongoing convergence of the physical and digital worlds is dramatically changing how people interact with their families, friends, and the world around them. everyone and everything is connected.
when it comes to how we pay for things, this seismic digital shift is the most significant milestone since plastic credit cards were introduced 50 years ago. it was crystal clear at this year's mobile world congress where we saw new players entering the mobile payments space and veterans doubling-down on their efforts to drive mobile payments ubiquity.
as we think about the rapid adoption of mobile payments, we believe the promise of services such as apple pay and samsung pay lies in creating safer and richer experiences for consumers. but, the key is not to simply recreate what you could do before, but to enable users to do something new and better. we know consumers don't set out to ‘make a payment’. they're just going about their everyday lives and are looking for better experiences, shortcuts. they want paying for things to be simpler and faster.
that’s why connecting with consumers wherever they are and whenever they want is critical. all retailers must have the ability to sell to their customers across platforms – in-store, in-app and online, and all users must have the choice of whether to pay in digital or plastic. and we also know consumers certainly don't want to lose any of the security or benefits they enjoy today. so our foremost objective is to make sure every digital transaction is as or more secure than anything we could ever do in the physical world.
commerce also doesn't just mean paying for things. it can be sending money to a family member in another country or receiving social security payments from the government. as mastercard ceo ajay banga laid out in his , the explosion of mobile devices allows us to extend opportunities for financial inclusion to the 2.5 billion people around the world who are currently without bank accounts, creating better and safer experiences via a device they are likely already using to keep in contact with friends and relatives. this spurs economic and business growth, and helps governments be more efficient through benefit distribution and reduced crime. we know this works. mastercard is already partnering with public and private organizations like the, , and the bill and melinda gates foundation to break down barriers to access around the world.
finally, all of this goes far beyond mobile, or any single device. while mobile might have been the “star” in barcelona, there was an impressive cast of characters at mobile world congress – from connected cars, to home monitoring devices and smart transport systems. we believe every connected device can be a commerce device. that’s our vision and how we are working with our partners across a range of industries to create the next generation of mastercard for the digital age – a world beyond cash and a world beyond plastic.
watch the video to learn how we're using our technology to connect people to what’s next.