Mastercard encourages staff to come back to New York offices

September 18, 2020.

, the second-largest U.S. credit card issuer, is encouraging employees to return to its New York-area offices, joining banks and other financial firms as they seek to bring staff back from remote work.

The Purchase, New York-based payment network has rearranged its work spaces to help employees avoid close physical contact while allowing for safe in-person interactions, Seth Eisen, a Mastercard spokesperson, said Friday. The company has also implemented temperature checks and contact tracing at the office, he said.

Eisen told Fastinform the company was giving employees flexible work options so that they could handle the challenges of COVID-19 without the added stress of “feel[ing] insecure about their jobs or their place of work.”

“But we are clear that building our culture, onboarding new employees and driving innovation will benefit from physical interaction between our teams and eventually, with those of our clients and partners,” he added. “Finding the right way to reach that end stage is what we are doing by encouraging our people to come back to [the] office, with appropriate precautions.”

The development could signal Mastercard’s intent to move ahead with plans to expand its New York footprint. The U.S.’ most populous city is one of five Mastercard technology hubs worldwide, and in 2017, Mastercard pledged to further build its New York-area operations with a new Fifth Avenue office and plans to add over 470 new jobs by 2024.

A New York economic development authority offered the company up to $13.3 million in performance-based tax credits to encourage its expansion in the state, according to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s press office.

Mastercard’s push for a return to the office comes as other major financial institutions test a variety of approaches to bringing staff back. Deutsche Bank’s U.S. employees will not be required to report to the office until July 2021, while New York-based BlackRock will let its global workforce stay home for the rest of this year.

JPMorgan Chase, which reopened its New York offices in June, is using a rotating plan to allow for safer in-person interactions. The U.S.’ largest bank reportedly sent some of its workers home from its offices after an equity trader tested positive for COVID-19.