MasterCard MasterPass Augments Your Digital Shopping Experience

For MasterCard, the future of payments isn’t an either-or situation for traditional plastic or digital methods. MasterCard MasterPass aims to streamline your entire shopping experience while bridging the gap between real world and digital payments.

MasterPass is the next step in the company’s PayPass Wallet services, which brought NFC checkout systems to more than 700,000 merchants. The digital service, announced today at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, lets consumers use NFC, QR codes, tags or mobile devices to make purchases. You can use a regular payment card or an enabled mobile device (or even your desktop PC), and MasterPass can be used online and in brick-and-mortar stores.

MasterCard is essentially negating the need for you to whip out your credit card unless that’s how you want to pay at that moment — something akin to Amazon Mobile and Amazon Prime, but without the need to purchase the product through a third party.

“As you move into a world beyond cash, you move beyond plastic. Not necessarily without it, but beyond,” Ed McLaughlin, MasterCard’s chief emerging payments officer, told Wired. Their team has asked themselves, What does digital enable you to do better? How can shopping be made more exciting, how can merchants interact with consumers better? “It’s about the new capabilities digital gives you. It’s not a replacement for something that works awfully well.”

With MasterCard MasterPass, you could be browsing store shelves at the mall, try on a shirt and decide you want to buy it. You snap a photo of a QR code code with your phone, which takes you directly to a site where you can buy it online using MasterPass. You can grab it and go, showing sales associates your digital receipt before exiting the store.

Or say they don’t have the color shirt you wanted in stock in your size. You can pay in aisle or at the register, and choose to have it shipped to your house. (Your card info and address are stored in the cloud.)

“Every device is a commerce device,” McLaughlin said. “It’s about how to pull it all together.”

Consumers in the United States can sign up for MasterPass beginning this spring.
By Christina Bonnington

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