Technology has changed the way we communicate, but it’s also had a huge influence on how Americans shop and pay bills. Whether you are buying a dress, purchasing a book or picking up the check at a restaurant, technology has made paying the tab faster and easier.
MasterCard highlighted some of its new technologies at the Innovation Showcase which was held in conjunction with its Investor Conference earlier this month.
Software and Apps
ShopThis is a new shopping app that creates an Intel-designed 3D fitting room using a cell phone or tablet where someone can virtually try on clothing advertised in online magazines, websites and other platforms. The app can then be used to make the purchase. It is powered by MasterPass, MasterCard’s virtual wallet, where users store their credit card and personal information either in their smartphone or computer.
QkR (pronounced Quicker) is a mobile payment app introduced last year which can be used with smartphones, tablets, or Google Glasses. It was initially designed so that users could order food from their seats at movie theaters using QR codes and NFC tags. MasterCard has now upgraded this app to allow users to order food at sporting events with In-Stadium. Parents can use QkR Schools to prepay and pre-order school lunches for their kids.
More rewards for parking, gas and travel
New reward and loyalty programs were also part of this year’s showcase, providing consumers with enhanced earning capabilities. Qantas Cash is a new loyalty program launched by Qantas Airlines. This program uses prepaid cards, which can be loaded with a wide range of foreign currencies, including Japanese Yens and British Pounds. The cards earn reward points and can be used at 35 million locations worldwide.
With the Fuel Rewards Network, members earn points when they buy gas with their MasterCard. Points can then be redeemed for groceries in network stores. Parkeon, a new technology, lets folks earn coupons for local businesses whenever they use their card to pay for parking.
Lending a helping hand
There are even new technologies to feed people in need. Digital food is a social impact technology allowing the World Food Programme to provide food to individuals via secured prepaid cards and smart phones rather than moving large amounts of food around the world.