MasterCard has unveiled a service which will enable shoppers to split instore transactions across monthly instalments using their existing cards.
Set for pilots in several European countries in the second half of the year, MasterCard Instalments promises to make high-value and unexpected purchases, such as TVs and car repairs, more manageable.
Participating credit, debit and commercial card issuers will invite customers to sign up for the service, which is activated without the need for reissuing. Then, at the point of sale at participating retailers, users will be presented with the option to select how many months they want to equally spread payments over.
MasterCard says that its Europe-wide research shows that people consider the idea of paying in instalments "of great appeal". Meanwhile, the card network claims, retailers will win new business, issuers will keep customers happy by helping them with budget control, and acquirers will get an extra tool in their merchant acquisition armoury.
Andrew Buckley, head of core products in Europe, MasterCard, says: "Today, everyone is looking for a smarter way to shop: consumers want flexible payment solutions that will help them fulfill their needs while maintaining a better control over their budget."