While life has its twists and turns, having a plan and being able to navigate the changing waters will determine if you’re successful. Business is no different. It’s about the strategy and being able to deliver on it. Never has that been more true than the past decade I’ve spent here at Mastercard – including the past year as CFO.
Now, much has changed at Mastercard during that time. Our business looks different than it did then. The world is much more digital. And, we have a new set of partners and customers. But, what hasn’t changed is our focus on the strategy – grow the core, diversify across customers and geographies, and build new areas – and the commitment to long-term return to our shareholders.
It’s with that view that we reported our fourth quarter and full year 2019 results this morning.
As Ajay highlighted on the call, we closed out 2019 on a strong note. In the fourth quarter, revenue was up 17 percent and EPS increased 28 percent versus a year ago, both on a non-GAAP, currency-neutral basis. For the full year, revenue was up 16 percent, with EPS up 23 percent, on this same basis.
The numbers don’t happen on their own. Instead, they’re a reflection of the commitment and drive of our people in every geography across the world to deliver on our shared strategy.
Thinking Digital First – Our platforms and technologies are enabling people to make purchases simply, easily and safely where they want. Through the end of the year, several merchants – like Amazon, Stripe and Mercado Libre – signed on with our token programs, providing increased security and improved approval rates. And, we’re seeing good traction in the adoption of the click-to-pay checkout as more merchants, such as FreshDirect, Match.com and Saks Fifth Avenue, come on board.
Reinforcing a Foundation of Trust – During the quarter, we announced the acquisition of RiskRecon. They bring a best-in-class AI and analytics solution to help businesses of all types – merchants, financial institutions, governments and others – secure their digital assets. This is a great complement to our existing cyber security services, whether that’s on the core network and Safety Net or the expansion of our biometric and AI platforms through NuData, Brighterion and Ethoca.
Keeping an Eye to the Future – We continue to be supporters of Open Banking – especially when it’s done the right way. We’ve developed and are running a set of comprehensive solutions and services – with a foundation in data privacy and real-time payments – that work for banks, fintechs, merchants and consumers. These efforts go hand-in-hand with our progress on digital identity and the commitment for each person to own, control and share their identity credentials how they choose. Some initial pilots are underway, with more to be shared throughout the year.
Looking ahead to 2020, we expect economic growth to be fairly similar to what we saw last year. The fundamentals of our business remain strong and our ability to deliver on our strategy will be seen as we share updates in the months to come on new customer agreements, new relationships and new technologies we’re bringing to the market.
Thanks for your support of our business.