Monday, February 25, 2013

The Newest Mobile Commerce: MasterPass

Everyone in the mobile commerce industry was watching for MasterCard's roll out this week at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona of the MasterPass system, which analysts agreed would turn the mobile commerce world on its head. Those were the expectations MasterCard's technologists had to live up to, and early indications are that they have. It appears that MasterPass will be more than a mere mobile payment system, but that in addition, users will be able to complete many forms of digital transactions. 

Norman Yan of described it this way:  

"For consumers, MasterPass will offer a method of storing your credit card information, address book and other details in a secure cloud network. It also functions as a digital wallet, like Google Wallet, allowing users to make payment by scanning their phones, and it will support other brand credit cards, not just MasterCard ones, which will help drive adoption of this system. When it comes to online purchases, it will allow for a simple quick checkout method if the retailer is also participating in the system, similar to that of PayPal."

Yan goes on to quote MasterCard’s chief emerging payments officer Ed McLaughlin: “There’s no e-commerce or m-commerce, there’s just commerce.” (

MasterCard's plans are to launch its new system in Australia and Canada next month, and then the U.S. and Canada, and later Belgium, Brazil, China, France, Italy, and Spain by the end of the year. The key will be trustability. When it comes to money, people tend to be skittish and skeptical. How willing will they be to use MasterPass to transfer large sums of money? Will its easiness to use overcome that skepticism? Comment with your thoughts!

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