If you ever forget which credit card you’ve attached your Lyft account to, or worry Amazon’s Alexa didn’t quite catch your order, Mastercard’s got a solution for you.
The company is debuting a new, signature melody, that shoppers will eventually hear every time they complete a purchase with Mastercard, whether they’re standing at a store counter, clicking and buying online, or placing an order through a voice activated speaker.
For ten days, starting Friday, customers visiting the clothing store, Fred Segal Sunset, in West Hollywood will be able to hear the roughly one second sound when they check out. And within the next several months, the melody can be heard when purchases are made through Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa.
But it will likely be a few years before merchants worldwide have fully adopted and integrated the new sound, says Raja Rajamannar, Mastercard’s chief marketing and communications officer.
Still, a slightly longer version of the check out sound will immediately become the sign off in Mastercard ads–on TV, social media and online. Those who call Mastercard will hear the musical notes as they wait on hold, and there will even be Mastercard ringtones.
“By the time it becomes ubiquitous is probably 3 to 5 years,” said Rajamannar, speaking of restaurants, stores and other businesses. But “we hope … that the recognition of our melody happens a lot faster across these different areas.”
Having a distinctive sound can be reassuring to shoppers who are now making purchases across a variety of platforms, often without having to pull out an actual card.
“The moment the sound comes, they know they’re in a safe secure environment, and it’s a Mastercard transaction,” he says.
It’s the latest innovation by the company, which recently announced that it’s removing its name from credit cards, putting the focus solely on its iconic red and yellow circles. Rajamannar says that more than 80 percent of people recognize Mastercard based on its symbol alone.
And as it tweaks its visual branding, Rajamannar says that an audio signature is also critical at a time when information is increasingly consumed by listening to audiobooks and podcasts.
Mastercard’s name has been on its logo for over 50 years. That’s about to change.
The idea was “to come up with a melody that is on the one hand very universal,” he said. “It should be simple enough to be able to hum. It should be adaptable to wherever you are in the world.”
Though the basic melody will be the same, it can be altered to better reflect a given country, region or the aesthetic of a particular business, the company says. Some merchants may prefer an operatic vibe, for instance, while others may go for a sound that is more pop.
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