MasterCard Unveils Wallet Offer; Expands PayPass Name to Online Transactions
NEW ORLEANS – MasterCard today announced its answer to Visa’s digital wallet and other wallets planned by competitors, introducing its PayPass Wallet Services.
The product is designed to enable banks, merchants and other MasterCard partners to offer wallets for online and offline purchases on various devices, including smartphones and tablets. The physical purchases would use NFC.
MasterCard said it would launch the wallet offer in the third quarter in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia, before expanding it elsewhere.
The offer appears to differ from Visa’s V.me wallet, due out later this year, mainly in how it helps banks and merchants to introduce their own digital wallets and not putting MasterCard’s wallet branding front and center.
“The framework is designed to be white label,” Ed McLaughlin, MasterCard’s chief emerging payments officer, told NFC Times.
It also puts MasterCard's contactless and online payments offers under one brand, unlike V.me, which uses two brands, though Visa has said its Visa payWave application could be integrated in V.me wallets.
The MasterCard offer includes a PayPass API, which allows partners to connect their own wallets to MasterCard’s “PayPass acceptance network.” The partners, for example, could allow customers to keep their log-in credentials but use MasterCard’s check-out, fraud detection and authentication system, for both online and offline purchases, the latter using PayPass.
Besides payment, MasterCard said its wallet offer would include account look-up before purchases, spending controls and alerts and delivery of targeted offers, coupons and loyalty programs.
For online purchases, participating merchants would display the MasterCard Buy With PayPass logo on their Web sites. Consumers would register their preferred cards–which could include non-MasterCard branded cards–along with their billing and shipping addresses, for easy payment.
At the physical point of sale, there appears to be few proposed changes in how consumers would make NFC-based mobile payments with the new wallet offer. But later there could be shared offers between online transactions and offline PayPass contactless purchases.
Linking online and offline offers is one thing that interested bookseller Barnes & Noble, Piper Rosenshein, director of retention marketing, told NFC Times. She said the bookstore chain, the largest in the U.S., would eventually accept contactless payment in its stores, though declined to say exactly when.
Barnes & Noble, along with American Airlines, are the biggest names among merchants in the short list of online retailers that MasterCard said have signed onto the program so far.
Barnes & Noble, like many large online merchants, already offers much the same check-out process that MasterCard is proposing for its PayPass Wallet Services—including preregistered shipping, billing and card information. PayPass Wallet Services just “gives our customers another option,” Rosenshein said.
MasterCard made the announcement during the run-up to the International CTIA Wireless show being held in New Orleans this week. Besides merchants and technology vendors, MasterCard said nearly 20 banks or payment service providers are supporting the wallet program, including, Canada’s Bank of Montreal, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, U.S.-based Citibank, Grupo BBVA of Spain and Italy’s Intesa Sanpaolo.
MasterCard now has 441,000 physical merchant locations in 41 countries that accept PayPass, a 40% increase from a year ago, said McLaughlin.
In a few contactless hotspots, such as Canada, PayPass card transactions account for a significant percentage of transactions. But in most markets, the activity remains low.
MasterCard debated about what to call the new wallet offer. Consumer focus groups and surveys showed PayPass has a reputation for “ease and convenience,” according to McLaughlin.
James Anderson, MasterCard’s group head and senior vice president for mobile and emerging payment, said the single brand for online and contactless payments will make for a consolidated experience around PayPass.
“Now we’re basically doubling down and making that the brand for (both) online (and offline),” Anderson told NFC Times.