Verizon and Mastercard formed a strategic alliance to bring 5G to the global payments industry, aiming to help businesses replace credit card machines with smartphones.

Mastercard said Verizon will help to expand its Tap on Phone initiative, which enables businesses to accept payments using an NFC-enabled smartphone in place of a dedicated terminal.

Verizon envisaged products employing its 5G network and mobile edge computing (MEC) to reduce the amount of hardware retailers require to deliver self-checkout services.

Mastercard noted the alliance will accelerate an existing programme to help retailers create digital stores. The company’s technology hub in New York City will become a testbed for services employing 5G and MEC.

Verizon also plans to use Mastercard’s technology to streamline bill payments by subscribers, making it easier to pay through digital banking channels, digitise paper invoices and deliver a mobile-first service.

In addition, the operator will use Mastercard technology to improve its fraud detection.

In 2020, Verizon introduced a branded Visa card which allows users to earn credit on their bills.