MasterCard Launches MasterPass, a Digital Wallet for Mobile Devices

by Istvan Fekete on April 12, 2013

With the next gold rush being mobile payments, the players are entering the market. This time it was MasterCard, which has launched MasterPass, a new digital wallet that works on computers, tablets and smartphones.

The official launch was in Canada on Thursday, with three companies supporting MasterPass: Grocery Gateway, Porter Airlines and WagJag. So, if you’re a customer visiting any of these sites, you’ll have the option to pay using the new MasterCard digital wallet.

Users can pre-register up to 25 credit cards and their shipping information with MasterPass, information that gets saved in the cloud. As a result, users paying via this new digital wallet will need only to type a password instead of using the credit card. If they have multiple credit cards, consumers can choose among them before the transaction is finalized.

“It’s going to mean that you’re going to shorten your check-out experience from what used to be eight steps down to about four,” said Jason Davies, MasterCard Canada vice-president of e-commerce.

“You’re able to complete those transactions wherever you are on the go in four easy clicks, you don’t have to actually pull your card out anymore, it’s stored securely.”

Although the number of companies supporting MasterPass is pretty limited at present, this number is expected to exceed 800 by the end of the year, and 2,800 by the end of next year.

MasterCard isn’t the only one rolling out a digital wallet: Visa quietly rolled out its own similar service in Canada last November. The service is called, and it currently supports only a few dozen U.S. retailers.

“We’ve been pretty quiet about it because really we’re very much focused on making sure we have a nice breadth of Canadian merchants and that’s really what we’re focused on before we go to market with kind of a big splash about the product,” said Visa spokeswoman Ann-Marie McIntosh.

There is a long way to go until the service reaches the broad user base it is betting on, but these types of service will make online purchasing a piece of cake, reducing the number of annoyances experienced during the check-out process.

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Written by: Istvan Fekete. Follow by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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