MasterCard and the Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO announced a memorandum of understanding on Monday that establishes the foundation for a chairmanship for finance, payments and e-commerce at the university.
The position was created as part of a long-term partnership and effort to improve the educational, research and consulting potential of the school by establishing a dedicated department.
MasterCard President and CEO Ajay Banga has served as a member of SKOLKOVO’s International Advisory Board since 2010. Company executives lecture at the school on the future of finance, cashless payments and payment business practices.
“Today’s announcement enables MasterCard to continue with its important partnership with the Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO and will focus on continuing to drive innovation in payments space, while identifying new ways to expand payment acceptance space,” Banga said. “Together MasterCard and the SKOLKOVO business school will help drive forward electronic and mobile commerce in Russia and around the world, enabling business to become even more competitive as we move to a world beyond cash.”
Last year, three winners of MasterCard’s entrepreneurial contest were awarded scholarships to SKOLKOVO’s MBA program, with the students expected to finish their degrees this year.
The school is currently in the process of hiring a new department head, who is expected to be chosen by January.
“The Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO is an actively developing centre of sectoral and intersectoral expertise, and it constantly tries to strengthen its research component,” Andrey Rappoport, the president of the SKOLKOVO business school, said. “Creation of the ‘Finance, Payments and E-commerce’ Chair together with the industry leader MasterCard is a response to the global trends and financial market demands. The e-commerce section grows rapidly and will define winning business models in the near future. I’m sure that the Chair experts’ research will contribute significantly to the industry’s development in Russia.”