MasterCard has announced PayPass Wallet Services, a new global offering that makes it easier and faster for customers to make purchases in stores and online, by allowing those purchases to be made with a single click or tap.
The digital wallet service - which faces tough competition from the likes of Visa, PayPal and Google - will launch in Australia in the third quarter of this year, with initial partners including JB Hi-Fi, American Airlines, Commonwealth Bank and Westpac.
"We think of MasterCard's mission as using technology to make payments safer, simpler, smarter and this is just one of the ways we're progressing against that mission" Ed McLaughlin, chief emerging payments office, MasterCard told Mashable.
"We realise that when it comes to payments, no single wallet will rule them all. PayPass Wallet Services simplifies the shopping experience while providing flexibility and choice to merchants, banks and consumers," says McLaughlin.
PayPass Wallet Services has three components: PayPass Acceptance Network, PayPass Wallet and PayPass API which together are designed to streamline your shopping experience no matter how you shop.
PayPass Acceptance Network: The PayPass acceptance network includes both online and contactless payments, and gives merchants a consistent way to accept electronics payments across multiple channels. NFC payments can be made in-store by tapping your mobile phone, and a new PayPass online element lets you check out at a retailer by clicking a PayPass button - automatically providing your shipping and payment information to a retailer without having to fill that information out each time you pay.
PayPass Wallet: PayPass wallet enables banks, merchants and partners to white label their own wallets. Consumers can store payment and shipping information in one secure place including American Express, Discover, Visa and other branded credit, debit and prepaid cards.
PayPass API: The PayPass API allows partners to connect their own wallets into the PayPass network, and lets those partners use MasterCard's check-out, fraud detection and authentication services to allow their customers to make purchases wherever PayPass is accepted.
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 later including other countries.
MasterCard's first partners for the project include big names like American Airlines and Barnes & Noble. American will be integrating the PayPass Wallet into its mobile application, and Barnes & Noble will be including the PayPass online checkout button on its website.
"Consumers are at a pivotal point now where smartphone adoption has exploded and well over 50 percent of Americans own one," says Marc Parish, vice president of retention and loyalty marketing for Barnes & Noble. "The technology that will allow customers to make mobile payments at the point of sale has already begun to make a different, and Barnes & Noble is proud to be leading retail in this technology shift"
Other partners include Jagex, JB Hi-Fi, MLB Advanced Media (MLB.com), Newegg, Runningshoes.com, TigerDirect.com and Wine Enthusiast Companies. MasterCard is also working with financial institutions such as Citibank, Fifth Third Bank, and National Bank of Canada. A number of technology partners are also already on board.
"MasterCard's PayPass Wallet Services has the potential to streamline the payment process for consumers, whether they're online or offline." Mark Hung Research Director, Wireless at Garner told Mashable.
"The open nature of the PayPass Wallet looks promising: besides allowing competitors' offerings to reside in the wallet (e.g., Visa, Amex, and Discover), the PayPass API allows other digital wallets to connect to MasterCard's acceptance network as well," says Hung. "It will be interesting to see when the full product will be launched, as well as the breadth of its partners that will be supporting this new initiative."
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