Mastercard's (MA) Deeper Bond With TripLink to Boost APAC Base

Mastercard Incorporated MA recently extended its alliance with the cross-border payment platform TripLink to the entire Asia-Pacific region. Earlier, the same was confined to Hong Kong following the partnership pact in 2019.

Through this zonewise renewal of ties, TripLink can issue virtual cards for businesses and suppliers of the region, particularly engaged in the tourism industry. The TripLink Mastercard solution providing tailored services in the form of portal and API integration options can be now be leveraged throughout the Asia-Pacific belt. This, in turn, will equip businesses with the power to improve their cross-border commerce.

Further, with Mastercard’s global payments network, merchants and suppliers can be assured of the same invincible and multi-layered security as they are usually guaranteed via any Mastercard payment solution. Subsequently, businesses can gain from accelerated and secure cross-border transactions.

Mastercard remains the preferred option for fintechs owing to its reputation, local knowledge, expanded capabilities, extensive network and solid global presence.  Being a fintech itself, TripLink gained immensely from its partnership with Mastercard, as triple-digit growth in its gross merchandise volume and client base bears testimony to this traction.

The latest move reinforces Mastercard’s continuous efforts to extend trustworthy cross-border payment capabilities to diversified businesses. It is always on the lookout for teaming up with more fintechs to harness the growth opportunities in the business-to-business payment market. The ulterior motive of such partnerships is to infuse digitization into the global economy.

The decision to stretch the Mastercard-TripLink partnership to the Asia-Pacific territory seems perfectly timed as the cross-border trade of the local tourism sector is finally witnessing a turnaround post the COVID-19 pandemic gloom that imposed restrictions. Thanks to the prevalence of Mastercard’s foolproof global chain, the cross-border business got a huge relief from currency translation issues.   

Per the Mastercard Economics Institute, Travel 2022: Trends and Transitions report, if the current pace at which flights are being booked continues, nearly 430 million more passengers will be ferried in the Asia Pacific during 2022 from the 2021 reading.

Shares of Mastercard have lost 14% in a year compared with the industry’s decline of 31.9%.

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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 Blucora, Inc. BCOR, Sterling Check Corp. STER and ICF International, Inc. ICFI. While Sterling Check sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Blucora and ICF International 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 Blucora outpaced estimates in three of the last four quarters and missed the mark once, the average being 15.99%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for BCOR’s 2022 earnings suggests an improvement of 5.1% from the year-ago reported figure. The same for revenues suggests growth of 2.1% from the year-ago reported number. The consensus mark for BCOR’s 2022 earnings has moved 1.6% north in the past 60 days.

Sterling Check’s earnings outpaced estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, the average being 28.32%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for STER’s 2022 earnings suggests an improvement of 22.7% from the year-ago reported figure. The same for revenues suggests growth of 23.4% from the year-ago reported number. The consensus mark for STER’s 2022 earnings has moved 5.3% north in the past 60 days.

The bottom line of ICF International outpaced estimates in each of the last four quarters, the average beat being 10.03%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for ICFI’s 2022 earnings suggests an improvement of 16.6% from the year-ago reported figure. The same for revenues suggests growth of 14.9% from the year-ago actuals. The consensus mark for ICFI’s 2022 earnings has moved 1.6% north in the past 30 days.

Shares of Blucora and ICF International stock have gained 18.8% and 21.9%, respectively, in a year. However, the Sterling Check stock has lost 26.5% in the same time frame.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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