Innovation PNG: Four questions for Craig Kirkland, Mastercard Pacific Islands


Craig Kirkland is Director, Pacific Islands for global payments giant, Mastercard. We caught with him as he prepares to visit Papua New Guinea this coming November to address the Innovation PNG 2023 conference in Port Moresby.

What does the word innovation mean to you?

Innovation means solving existing problems in a new way, particularly if the innovation enhances peoples’ lives.

How does it feature in your role at Mastercard?

Innovation features a lot in my role, as payment technology has been consistently evolving with new technologies emerging frequently.

Whether it’s a new way to pay, a new way to get paid or a new way to address fraud, it’s always changing.

Is there a particular innovation that you’re most proud of being involved with?

That would have to be contactless payments, firstly deploying it in Australia and New Zealand with physical terminals.

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That was great but nothing comes close to launching DUA Pay, a tap-on phone payment acceptance solution that we recently launched in Fiji. It is solutions like this that are going to bring prosperity to many SMEs in the Pacific, particularly those run by women.

What are you hoping delegates will take away from your talk at Innovation PNG?

I would like people to take away a greater awareness of the role that payments play in taking new innovations to commercialisation as well as a sense of how payments have been evolving and will continue to innovate well into the future.

Innovation PNG 2023 will be taking place at APEC Haus, Port Moresby on 10 November, and will be preceded the night before by a Gala Awards Diner for the 2023 Innovation PNG Awards. To register to attend or learn more about this event, visit


  1. Would be great to get more understanding on where we are at with Internet Payment Gateways, Payment Processing Platforms in PNG. Keen to hear how the Innovation PNG 2023 goes.

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