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MasterCard Debuts MasterPass

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MasterCard Debuts MasterPass

Consumers will be able to make purchases with a click, a tap or a touch no matter where they are, using MasterPass, MasterCard’s new digital payment platform. Introduced this week at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, MasterPass is the evolution of PayPass Wallet, the digital payment system that MasterCard introduced last spring.

PayPass Wallet had three different components:

  • PayPass Acceptance Network, which let consumers make purchases online or in stores using NFC technology
  • PayPass Wallet which allowed people to store payment information on their phones and
  • PayPass API which let partners connect their digital wallet services to the PayPass Acceptance Network

PayPass becomes MasterPass

Now MasterPass will take over those components and add even more functionality to MasterCard’s digital and mobile offerings. The program is expected to be available worldwide by the end of 2013. Consumers will be able to sign up for MasterPass through financial institutions in Australia and Canada by the end of March, in the United States later this spring, and in the United Kingdom sometime this summer. Other markets on tap for 2013 include Belgium, Brazil, China, France, Italy, Netherlands, Singapore, Spain and Sweden.

MasterPass services will include:

  • Checkout services – this gives retailers a way to accept electronic payments from an in-store register or from a store aisle. MasterPass supports payments made with NFC, QR codes, tags or mobile devices, letting stores check customers out anywhere they are. That means freedom from the typical register line-up scenario most of us are used to.
  • Connected wallets – this lets banks, stores and other partners offer consumers their own mobile wallets so they can store card information in a secure, open cloud that accommodates more than just MasterCards. Customers can also add other brands of debit cards, credit cards, and store cards to the wallets.
  • Value added services – things like account balances, alerts, loyalty point-tracking and other services to enrich customer experience will be included in MasterPass functionality, allowing merchants to offer even more to their customers and take full advantage of the possibilities that digital and mobile payments can deliver.

Visa gets in on mobile and digital action

Not to be left behind in the mobile and digital payment game, last week Visa introduced the Visa Ready Partner Program, which will let mobile device makers and technology companies partner with Visa to grow their contactless payments capabilities.

Visa Ready Partner will help financial institutions and merchants adopt Visa-approved mobile and digital payment methods and let them accept electronic payments worldwide via Visa-branded cards. The company hopes to make mobile payments easy for customers and merchants, wherever they are.

Through this program, Visa is developing mobile payment solutions that will be compatible not only with traditional magnetic-stripe cards, but with EMV chips and contactless card payments.

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