MasterCard’s MasterPass Aims to Revolutionise Digital Wallet

MasterCard's MasterPass for mobile payments

Today MasterCard announced their new MasterPass digital wallet service during Mobile World Congress 2013.

MasterPass aims to tackle MasterCard's lagging position on the mobile payments stage with its previous PayPass technology by creating a powerful and versatile payment solution for customers.

"Every device is becoming a shopping device," said MasterCard's chief emerging payments officer Ed McLaughlin. "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."

MasterPass lets any payment card or enabled device make effortless purchases online and in-store as a truly integrated mobile banking and payment solution. Thanks to partnerships with key mobile banking operators, such as mFoundry, MasterPass should be a force to be reckoned with in the mobile payments world.

"Consumers will now shop and pay in whatever way best fits their needs and lifestyles, from every device they have," said MasterCard's group head of MasterPass services Ed Olebe. "MasterPass gives them the ability to make a payment from wherever they are, with one simple experience. Integrating with mFoundry's solution embeds the power of MasterPass into an industry-leading mobile banking platform and enhances both the payment and banking experience for consumers."

mFoundry CEO Drew Sievers added: "Together, mFoundry and MasterPass deliver an outstanding customer experience by integrating mobile banking and mobile payments into one, seamless solution. By bringing together both, financial institutions can transform their mobile banking experience and achieve the broader goal of turning mobile into their most valuable channel."

What exactly makes this a key move for MasterCard then?

It contains all the functionality found in MasterCard's PayPass Wallet service – such as simple NFC purchases with a credit card or a dedicated single-touch checkout button for online purchases – but MasterPass adds new features for users to capitalise upon.

MasterPass' checkout service grants a user the ability to scan a product barcode in a shop isle and purchase it there and then within a store's app – thus saving a customer from dealing with tiresome queues. The connected wallets feature enables banks, merchants and partners to offer their own wallets for use, thus allowing a consumer to securely store their information with a brand they trust in a cloud – thus providing even more protection.

What's even more interesting is that the wallet is completely open, allowing competing credit, debit and prepaid card services to work though the device with no trouble whatsoever.

With consumers wanting fast, easy and secure payments right within their grasp, MasterCard's MasterPass is one smart move from the formerly plastic card giant, surely securing their place within the next-generation of payment services.

MasterPass is supported by many financial institutions around the world, numerous international and regional merchants and a plethora of technological partners.

MasterPass is expected to have launched worldwide by early 2014, however sign up and roll out for the service begins with Australia and Canada by the end of March, with the US and UK joining in Spring. Other nations around the world will receive MasterPass across the coming year.

Do you think that MasterCard's MasterPass is a step in the right direction?

Does it do enough to ensure that MasterCard stay ahead of the game?

Let me know by commenting below.

If you're interested in the future of cards and payments, Cards and Payments Africa 2013 and Cards and Payments Asia 2013 have all the delicious information you need to know.


  1. MasterCard

    While mFoundry is a valued partner, MasterPass is a MasterCard platform. Through APIs, MasterPass allows third parties, like mFoundry, to develop MasterPass-connected wallets for consumer use. mFoundry will be using MasterCard’s APIs to develop a mobile wallet as part of its mobile banking platform.

    1. Author

      Hi Mastercard,

      Thanks for clearing that up, it wasn’t very clear in the press release, but it’s great to hear that MasterPass is a completely open platform for mobile banking.

      I’ve amended the article to clear up the confusion.

  2. CS

    I think the key question is if mFoundry or other future MasterPass-connected wallets would be able to qualify as Card-Present. Without that, I do not see how/why merchants would be keen to provide an alternative payment method that (if successful) reduce their profit instead of increasing.

    1. Author

      Very true. I think if the amount of consumers increased due to the ease of use from MasterPass then retailers would happily adopt such a method even if it cuts into the profits of each sale a little bit more.

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