Credit card giant MasterCard touted the benefits of open systems in driving growth of mobile payments during its third quarter results announcement yesterday.
Google’s high profile Wallet service currently only works with Citi MasterCard credit cards and with merchants that have MasterCard’s PayPass technology installed. But Google is working with Visa, American Express and Discover to support their NFC credit cards, a fact MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga (pictured) was keen to promote: “Within the next few months, I think Google Wallet will open up to the other networks, which I believe is the right thing. I believe that open systems is the only way. I've been saying this for a while, that mobile payments will begin to acquire traction. I think that'll be networks as well over a period of time. I'm sure they'll open up to other banks as well. I just don't know what the timing of these specific things is.”
Elsewhere on the conference call with analysts Banga elaborated on MasterCard’s progress in mobile. “We continue to build our partnership in Telefónica, including a strategic alliance to launch co-branded credit products in 11 countries and in Latin America and the Carribean. And in fact, we've just launched a Mobistar co-brand card in Mexico, the first in this market to target mobile phone users with enhanced mobile benefits,” he commented. “We are [also] working with Etisalat, the leading telecommunication provider in the United Arab Emirates on a contactless mobile payment solution that will launch in the first quarter of 2012.”
MasterCard PayPass is a ‘contactless’ method of payment, enabling users to pay for goods via a tap of a compatible card, key fob, or mobile phone. Banga said PayPass has been implemented in over 37 countries and now is accepted at over 341,000 merchant locations and growing. “This is a product that started out in the card form factor,” noted Banga. “It's increasingly being deployed as part of a mobile handset, and at our recent Investor Day, those of you who were there saw it as part of a mobile solution and experienced the benefits it can deliver to consumers. For merchants, it's speed checking out. For issuers, it adds functionality to help drive top of wallet behavior and retention.”
Banga’s comments came as the firm reported a net income of US$717 million, or US$5.63 diluted earnings per share, for the third quarter of 2011, compared to US$518 million, or US$3.94 diluted earnings per share, for the same period in 2010. Net revenues were US$1.82 billion for the third quarter of 2011, up 27 percent, compared to US$1.43 billion for the same period in the previous year.