MasterCard International Inc. has put a familiar face in charge of electronic commerce.
Arthur D. Kranzley, who worked at MasterCard from 1985 to 1995 before moving to Advanta Corp., has returned in a high-profile senior vice presidency, responsible for promoting the SET Internet security protocol and other e-commerce initiatives.
He will also work closely with an internal task force exploring uses of smart cards in on-line commerce.
"I see a lot coming out of MasterCard in the electronic commerce world, some related to SET and some not," he said in an interview.
The position was vacant since the departure in February of Steve Mott. Mr. Mott and his Visa International counterpart, senior vice president Steve Herz, were the original point men for SET, which stands for Secure Electronic Transaction. Mr. Mott now heads an independent consultancy, CSI Management Services, Stamford, Conn.
Alan Glass, based at MasterCard's St. Louis operations center, was Mr. Mott's interim successor. He has returned to his post as senior vice president, special projects, but will remain MasterCard's representative on the board of the SET governing body, SETCo.
Mr. Kranzley, 48, officially started three weeks ago. He comes in as SET is just getting past early growing pains.
He said he is optimistic it can gain the necessary, so far elusive, market credibility.
U.S. credit card bankers have shown little urgency about deploying SET. Mr. Kranzley's experience at Advanta, a top 10 card issuer recently acquired by Fleet Financial Group, may bring a valuable perspective to the marketing task.
Gary Roboff, senior vice president of electronic commerce at Chase Manhattan Bank, said, "Art brings an ideal background to what has become a very important position within MasterCard," including "insight into key issues facing members."
"We were watching all electronic commerce developments, including SET," Mr. Kranzley said of his stint at Advanta, where he worked for chief executive officer and former MasterCard president Alex W. Hart.
"We and other issuers saw phenomenal potential" for credit cards on the Internet, Mr. Kranzley said. "But consumers were reluctant to use it and those who were using it were doing so in an insecure way."
Some bankers may argue that low volumes make it unnecessary to move quickly to SET, data encryption techniques, and related procedures designed to take the risk out of on-line transactions.
"But if you look at projections and usage trends on the Internet and personal computers and the investments being made by computer companies, retailers, and start-ups, people will more and more be invited to shop on- line," Mr. Kranzley said.
"We have to make sure it is done in a secure way."
Mr. Kranzley earned his stripes managing emerging products.
Son of the late Arthur S. Kranzley, a pioneering developer of card processing software, he has 23 years of payments industry experience and held senior "debit side" jobs in MasterCard's Cirrus and Maestro subsidiaries.
He was president of Maestro USA and U.S. region senior vice president of deposit access from 1992 to 1995.
At Advanta, Mr. Kranzley was responsible for strategic business and corporate development, including the Internet, other new-business initiatives, and strategic alliances.
He stayed on at Advanta briefly to work on the transition to Fleet.
Currently living in Princeton, N.J., Mr. Kranzley will be based at MasterCard's Purchase, N.Y., headquarters.
He left MasterCard just before its move there from New York City but said "it still feels like a homecoming." The time away "seems like a leave of absence."