Global payments and technology company Mastercard is in talks with Indian banks to roll out its Carbon Calculator feature, which offers consumers an estimated carbon footprint for each of their purchases.

“Carbon Calculator is a service that we provide to banks. The personalised carbon footprint tracker can tell consumers the cumulative effect of carbon footprint across a variety of spending categories in a month. We have launched it in many countries and, now, we are in talks with banks in India to roll it out here,” Ken Moore, Chief Innovation Officer, Mastercard, told businessline

Moore leads Mastercard’s Foundry organisation, which serves as an innovation lab to develop new products and services for the company. 

Mastercard Carbon Calculator, developed in collaboration with Swedish fintech Doconomy, is currently used in over 25 countries. Banking partners can embed the tracking tool in their website or mobile apps. 

Moore said conversations around environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors are not restricted to boardrooms anymore, and banks and corporates are setting actionable targets. 

Cause-driven consumerism

“Consumers are also becoming cause-driven. Before choosing a product, they want to know how sustainably it is sourced, buy products locally to support indegenious companies, buy from companies founded by women or coloured people, and so on. Because they know that the power of their spending is a reflection of what they believe in,” Moore said. 

“So, there is a real opportunity to take sustainability into cause-driven consumerism,” he added. 

Moore said Mastercard also started the Priceless Planet Coalition, a campaign to restore 100 million trees. “In Carbon Calculator, you can see the carbon effect of your purchases; the Priceless Planet Coalition allows you to redeem your reward points towards tree planting projects.”

The Mastercard CIO said that the broadening definition of money, intelligent experiences, and ESG-conscious consumer behaviour are the three big factors that will influence the next economy. 

Moore explained that the concept of money is expanding beyond cash, or balances in the wallet, or bank accounts to loyalty points, cryptos, central bank digital currencies (CBDC), and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

“In some countries, people produce more energy than they consume and contribute the surplus back to the grid to get solar credits from the government. That can be  another form of money. In future, it is highly possible that you will come up to a merchant point of sale and pay with solar credit credit or CBDC or rupee or mix it all together,” Moore added.