MasterCard has made a strategic investment in US mobile money outfit mFoundry, leading a funding round that also includes Intel Capital, Fidelity Information Services and Motorola Mobility.
Founded in 2004, mFoundry now claims more than 500 bank and credit union customers for its mobile payments technology and is also behind the successful Starbucks app. Previous investors include NCR and PayPal.
MasterCard hopes to tap mFoundry's mobile banking applications, used by the likes of Citi and Bank of America, to push its PayPass contactless payments technology.
By incorporating PayPass into bank's apps it is seeking to extend the uptake of its technology, building on its recently launched partnership with Google.
Ed McLaughlin, chief emerging payments officer, MasterCard, says: "This collaboration with mFoundry is going to allow more banks, credit unions and mobile phone operators around the world to offer their customers the convenience and security of Mobile PayPass."
MasterCard, like its traditional card rivals, is rushing to gain a foothold in the nascent mobile money market. Visa has acquired Fundamo and invested in Monitise and Square in the recent past while American Express has taken a stake in Payfone.