MasterCard is introducing PayPass Wallet Services, a new mobile payment platform for merchants, banks and partners that allows consumers to make purchases in stores or online with a “simple click of the mouse, touch of the tablet screen or tap of the smart phone.”
MasterCard’s PayPass Wallet is the latest entry in a rapidly evolving field of “e-wallet” providers to take aim at the popularity of smart phones and computer tablets.
MasterCard’s bigger payment network rival Visa, and the likes of Google, AT&T and eBay’s online service PayPal, are developing or already offering their own mobile payment services.
Both Visa and MasterCard are vying to stay at the forefront of this technology as more consumers worldwide are expected to ditch traditional plastic over digital device services – although the transformation is slowly evolving.
American Airlines and Barnes & Noble will be among the first merchant partners to incorporate the PayPass online checkout button on their websites, and American will integrate PayPass Wallet into its mobile application.
Both MasterCard and Visa will allow consumers to load other brands of cards on their e-wallets – each other’s cards and those of American Express and Discover Financial Services. The four card brands have said they will allow their cards to be loaded into Google Wallet. However, MasterCard is the only other brand live with the service at this time.
MasterCard’s PayPass Wallet Service covers three components:
- PayPass Acceptance Network (PayPass Online and PayPass Contactless) – Provides a “globally consistent” method for merchants to accept electronic payments whether the purchase is made in a store at the point of sale with Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, or online using a computer, tablet or smart phone. PayPass Online offers a simpler check-out process by eliminating the need to enter detailed shipping and card information with every purchase.
- PayPass Wallet – Offers a suite of e-wallet solutions enabling banks, merchants and partners to white label their own wallets. It enables consumers to store payment and shipping information in one secure place. The wallet is open, which means that consumers can use American Express, Discover, Visa and other branded credit, debit and prepaid cards.
- PayPass API – Allows partners to connect their own digital wallets into the PayPass Acceptance Network, “leveraging MasterCard’s check-out, fraud detection and authentication services” and allowing customers to make purchases wherever PayPass is accepted – online and in-store.
MasterCard will make PayPass Wallet Services available to partners in the third quarter of 2012, initially in the U.S., Canada, U.K. and Australia and, subsequently, will include other countries.