MasterCard unveils digital wallet and open API
08 May 2012 | 13440 views | 0
MasterCard has unveiled a digital wallet enabling users to make purchases in-store, online and through their mobile phones.
The card giant's PayPass Wallet Services will let customers make contactless payments through cards and mobile phones in stores with NFC terminals. In addition, online shoppers will be able to store their details in the wallet and then make purchases with a single click.
The wallet is open, with banks, merchants and other partners able to white label their own efforts while consumers will be allowed to pay with American Express, Discover, Visa cards as well as MasterCard ones.
Meanwhile, an API lets partners connect their own digital wallets into the PayPass Acceptance Network, tapping MasterCard's check-out, fraud detection and authentication services and enabling their customers to make purchases wherever PayPass is accepted - online and in store.
Ed McLaughlin, chief emerging payments officer, MasterCard, says: "Consumers are looking to pay for goods when, how and where they choose. Merchants want flexibility to easily accept digital payments so they can convert more browsers to buyers both online and in store. We realize that when it comes to payments, no single wallet will rule them all. PayPass Wallet Services simplifies the shopping experience while providing flexibility and choice to merchants, banks and consumers."
The wallet will be made available to partners in the third quarter, initially in the US, Canada, UK and Australia, with more countries to follow. Bank of Montreal, Commonwealth Bank, Citibank, Intesa Sanpaolo and Metro Bank are among the financial institutions committed to the services, while merchants on-board include American Airlines and Barnes & Noble.
Visa is in the process of rolling out its V.me digital wallet, offering similar services, while technology firms such as Google and PayPal, as well as telcos, are also developing systems.
To coincide with the wallet launch, MasterCrad has unveiled new research in the form of a Mobile Payments Readiness Index (MPRI) that analyses and ranks 34 markets worldwide in terms of how ready (or not) they are to implement mobile payments. The initial results suggest it's early days for mobile payments, with the top five markets identified as Singapore, Canada, the United States, Kenya, and South Korea.