From card controls to treasury management to new mobile channels, the pace of payments tech innovation-and the number of feisty startups-are accelerating, and MasterCard has opened a new research and development lab in an attempt to make sure it doesn't fall behind the curve.

Led by Garry Lyons, the former CEO of Orbiscom, the new R&D unit, called MasterCard Labs, will include a team of tech engineers that will drive innovation through a cycle that includes conceptualization, proof of concept, pilot and support of commercialization. MasterCard developed inControl in partnership with Orbiscom, and then later purchased the tech firm in late 2008.

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