At the Barcelona Mobile World Congress on Monday, MasterCard announced its entrance into the mobile payment market. The new unveiling has been awaited for some time and MasterPass was finally made public for the first time today.
The new payment system will incorporate a merchant’s mobile friendly checkout and a consumer digital wallet for purchases both online and in-store.
For years, payment services have been offered by MasterCard online, but they always revolved around their own cards, with the numbers being filled out individually by the consumer to use.
A spokesperson for MasterCard said the new payment system would reach Australia and Canada within a month and be available for consumers through a myriad of financial institutions. The U.S. and UK will receive the new payment system during the spring and summer respectively.
Launch partners include U.S. based American Airlines and UK based Argos and Boots. Also participating are Citi, Westpac, Banco Santader, Unicredit and BNP Paribas.
At the top of the list of hot topics at the Mobile World Congress are mobile payments. Many retail apps have been designed over the last year to 18 months, but revenues have not matched the incredible hype. Most retailers built their own payment systems forcing the user to register and then enter details each time they make a different purchase.
However, with MasterPass, a consumer receives an app or the digital wallet that gives them the opportunity to keep all of the loyalty card and payment information along with addresses for shipping on their mobile device. In addition, and more importantly, is the merchants’ digital checkout service that will help in-store purchasers pay instantly and online customers to pay quicker and completely secure.