MasterCard launches MasterPass digital payments platform
BARCELONA, Spain--MasterCard introduced MasterPass, a new digital commerce platform enabling consumers to use any payment card or enabled device to make purchases online, in-store or on the go.
MasterPass--effectively an expanded, rebranded version of MasterCard's PayPass Wallet Services effort, announced in May 2012--supports a host of in-store payment and customer services technologies including Near Field Communications, QR codes and smart tags. Consumers can store card information, address books and related account information in the cloud, which translates to a more efficient checkout process that eliminates the need to enter shipping and card information with each purchase.
MasterCard is teaming with VeriFone Systems to integrate MasterPass as a cloud-based payment option within the point-of-sale terminal manufacturer GlobalBay's Mobile POS and Clienteling applications. The partnership will enable shoppers to access their MasterPass wallet accounts to pay from anywhere in the store via smartphones and tablets supporting the GlobalBay software. VeriFone also will support contactless acceptance of the MasterPass wallet.
MasterPass also enables banks, merchants and other MasterCard partners to offer their own digital wallets; each wallet is open, enabling consumers to add MasterCard accounts as well as credit, debit and prepaid cards from other financial services providers. Mobile banking services firm mFoundry (the recipient of an $18 million MasterCard investment in late 2011) will create a digital wallet service leveraging MasterPass APIs. Trials are slated to begin later this year, with the service available to all 900 mFoundry customer banks in early 2014.
MasterPass additionally touts value-added services to enhance all phases of the shopping experience, highlighted by real-time alerts, loyalty programs and offers.
"As you move into a world beyond cash, you move beyond plastic. Not necessarily without it, but beyond," Ed McLaughlin, MasterCard's chief emerging payments officer, told Wired. "Every device is a commerce device. It's about how to pull it all together." McLaughlin added that U.S. consumers may sign up for MasterPass beginning this spring.
MasterCard offers financial services in more than 210 countries and territories worldwide. More than 5,900 merchants and brands will support MasterPass at launch, including American Airlines, Boots, MLB Advanced Media and Park Avenue Coffee.
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