MasterCard announces new MasterPass digital wallet
MasterCard unveiled its bid to dominate the mobile payments market with a ‘virtual wallet’ allowing customers to keep personal payment details in their phone and avoid checkouts by scanning bar codes in stores to pay.
Financial services companies like the U.S. credit card company as well as technology names Google and eBay Inc’s PayPal are looking for ways to capitalize on the prevalence of consumers’ sophisticated phones by providing programs that house credit and debit cards, coupons and store loyalty program details virtually.
Mastercard said its MasterPass service includes new functionality that allows shoppers to scan a product bar-code while in the store way and make the purchase right there within the store’s app. Banks, merchants, and partners can offer their own branded wallets in the MasterPass app as well, and they will include cards other than MasterCard.
This is essentially MasterCard’s answer to Google’s Wallet service and PayPal. The ability to display QR codes makes it easier for more smartphones to act as a digital wallet, even devices that don’t have NFC on board. MasterPass is expected to launch next month in Australia and Canada, with launches in the US and UK following shortly after that.