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Mastercard (MA) Ties Up for Virtual Card Uptake in Travel Space

Mastercard Incorporated MA recently collaborated with the software and technology company Sabre Corporation and the payment technology firm Conferma Pay. The partnership aims to promote the widespread adoption of virtual cards, easing business-to-business (B2B) travel payments.

Mastercard gave a nod to make a minority investment in Conferma Pay as part of the recent tie-up. This decision seems a prudent move on MA’s part. The reason can be attributed to the extensive reach of Conferma Pay — purchased by Sabre in August 2022 — in the travel industry, enabling hassle-free connection between Conferma Pay-generated virtual card issuers and travel management companies, travel agencies, corporations, issuers and technology partners.

Backed by Mastercard’s technology prowess, Conferma Pay can integrate new features into the virtual cards and upgrade the existing capabilities of the same. The virtual cards coming with great security and a single-use card number can be utilized for seamless booking and connected payments to third-party suppliers. Additionally, the buyers and suppliers operating in the travel space can keep an eye on payments, and enjoy benefits from flexible pricing and varied financing options.

The latest alliance reflects Mastercard’s sincere efforts to leverage the collective experience, technology and capabilities of Sabre and Conferma Pay along with its own resources in infusing advanced digital solutions into the travel payment ecosystem. As travelers remain inclined toward using smart devices and electronic payments amid their journeys owing to the widespread adoption of digital means across every sphere of life, partnerships similar to the latest one seems aptly timed.

Another factor that underlines the timeliness of the latest move is the significant surge in travel that might occur this year, thanks to the relaxation of border restrictions, pent-up demand for travel and the gradual resurgence of business or vocational trips.

Mastercard frequently resorted to collaborations to upgrade the travel economy. In August 2022, MA teamed up with LMK Resources Pakistan (Private) Limited (LMKR) to execute the first open-loop payment solution, powered by MA’s advanced technology, across the transit system of Pakistan.

Shares of Mastercard have gained 9.4% in a year against the industry’s decline of 10.1%.

Zacks Investment Research
Zacks Investment Research


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Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Mastercard currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the Business Services space are Barrett Business Services, Inc. BBSI, Exponent, Inc. EXPO and Information Services Group, Inc. III. While Barrett Business Services sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Exponent and Information Services Group carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

The bottom line of Barrett Business Services outpaced estimates in three of the last four quarters, the average beat being 49.05%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for BBSI’s 2022 earnings suggests an improvement of 31% from the year-ago reported figure. The same for revenues suggests growth of 12.5% from the year-ago reported number. The consensus mark for BBSI’s 2022 earnings has moved 4% north in the past 30 days.

Exponent’s earnings outpaced estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, the average being 8.51%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for EXPO’s 2022 earnings suggests an improvement of 12.3% from the year-ago reported figure. The same for revenues suggests growth of 6.4% from the year-ago reported number. The consensus mark for EXPO’s 2022 earnings has moved 2.1% north in the past 30 days.

The bottom line of Information Services Group outpaced estimates in three of the last four quarters and matched the mark once, the average beat being 30.00%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for III’s 2022 earnings suggests an improvement of 15.9% from the year-ago reported figure. The same for revenues suggests growth of 2.4% from the year-ago reported number. The consensus mark for III’s 2022 earnings has moved 13.3% north in the past 30 days.

The Barrett Business Services stock has gained 37.7% in a year. However, shares of Exponent and Information Services Group have lost 13.6% and 35.6%, respectively, in the same time frame.

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Mastercard Incorporated (MA) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Exponent, Inc. (EXPO) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Barrett Business Services, Inc. (BBSI) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Information Services Group, Inc. (III) : Free Stock Analysis Report

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