Ajay Bhalla is President, Global Enterprise Risk & Security, responsible for delivering Mastercard’s core pledge of ensuring the safety and security of every payment and over 2 billion cardholders using our network. With over 48 billion digital and card transactions across the Mastercard network every year, this includes protecting stakeholders globally with advanced scalable technologies and developing the strategy to secure future payment innovations. He also serves on the company’s Management Committee.
In this role and throughout his 23-year career at Mastercard, he has been behind many revolutionary solutions that have shaped the new digital payments landscape.
He pioneered the development and use of biometrics in payments with the creation of Identity Check, a biometric authentication app to replace passwords and launched Safety Net, a global platform that uses sophisticated algorithms and Artificial Intelligence to detect cyberhacking of banks and processors, blocking further attacks. Mr. Bhalla also led the global rollout of Zero Liability, an industry first worldwide promise to protect MasterCard cardholders from fraud and launched new technology solutions to reduce false card declines for travellers – IQ Series and Mobile Location alerts. In addition, he led the launch of MasterCard’s DigiSec Lab, a representation of the company’s collective efforts to maximize product innovation and security investments by developing and deconstructing technology – including chip cards and biometrics – to identify opportunities to strengthen it and continuously protect consumers, merchants and financial institutions from fraud.
Most recently Mr. Bhalla was President of DataCash, Mastercard’s Payment Gateway Services business. Under his leadership, he led growth of the business in e-commerce and digital payments processing, and developed advanced digital payment solutions for banks and merchants globally.
Earlier, he was President of Mastercard for South Asia and Southeast Asia and led the rollout of Mastercard contactless technology and financial inclusion solutions in 14 Asian markets. Mr. Bhalla also led the development of Mastercard Titanium for affluent consumers to offer enhanced benefits and purchasing power to meet their premium needs and later, spearheaded the launch of signature debit in Asia. During his tenure, South Asia and Southeast Asia Mastercard business grew manifold and became a hotbed for innovation and new payment solutions.
Before joining Mastercard, Mr. Bhalla held key leadership positions at HSBC and Xerox.
He studied in India, earning a bachelor’s degree in commerce from the University of Delhi and a master’s degree in management studies from the University of Bombay.
He also serves as a CEME Senior Fellow at The Fletcher School, Tufts University.