LIVE FROM MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS: MasterCard has announced an initiative today at congress that aims to pull together traditional card payments and those made via a mobile device.
The credit card giant is portraying the new service, which is called MasterPass, as “an evolution” of its previous PayPass Wallet Services, which it launched in Spring last year.
MasterCard announced that two vendors, mFoundry and Verifone, are backing the new service by offering it to their customers
“MasterPass brings together all of the ways we pay for things, from traditional plastic cards to digital wallets, and gives consumers the ability to make a payment from wherever they are and with one simple experience,” said Ed McLaughlin, the company’s chief emerging payments officer.
The new service is currently being trialled by a number of merchants and issuers. Consumers will soon be able to sign up through local financial institutions, starting with Australia and Canada, by the end of March. The US and the UK will follow in the Spring and Summer, respectively. MasterCard did not name the financial institutions involved.
Separate to its previous PayPass Wallet initiative, MasterCard has also worked with individual mobile operators on NFC-based mobile payment, including Deutsche Telekom with whom it is launching mobile payments in a number of European markets.
Additional launches for MasterPass in 2013 will include Belgium, Brazil, China, France, Italy, Netherlands, Singapore, Spain and Sweden.
MasterPass enables merchants to support in-store checkout services based on a variety of technologies including NFC, QR codes, tags and mobile devices.
For on-line transactions, the credit card giant offers a simplified checkout that eliminates the need to supply detailed card information for every purchase.
The service also enables banks, merchants and other partners to offer their own wallets. The approach is open, says MasterCard, meaning “other branded credit, debit and prepaid cards” can appear in the wallet.