From in-car payments to wearables – Mastercard’s latest innovations

There are more than 1.9 billion Mastercard-branded cards in use around the world, enabling more than $4 trillion of payments in 150 currencies every year.

With such a vast presence across the globe, the company plays a huge part in driving progress and dictating where the payments industry will go next. Mastercard’s recent innovations have included everything from in-car payments to wearable technology. Read on to find out more.

Linking up with GM for in-car payments

Mastercard is one of the first brands to sign up to OnStar Go, the auto industry’s first cognitive mobility platform. The result of a partnership between General Motors and computing giant IBM, OnStar Go will deliver personalized services via car dashboards, letting millions of GM drivers connect with various brands.

The involvement of Mastercard’s tokenization platform – Mastercard Digital Enablement Service (MDES) – and the Masterpass digital payment platform will let drivers and passengers complete transactions using card data stored in their Masterpass wallets.

Paul Papas, global leader of IBM’s Interactive Experience division, said OnStar Go had the potential to “change the whole notion of where valuable daily rituals occur”.

Bringing ‘selfie payments’ to North America

Fingerprint and ‘selfie’ payment technology is now available in the US and Canada, following Mastercard’s North American rollout of Identity Check Mobile. The technology was designed to make online shopping simpler by using biometric data to verify a cardholder’s identity. BMO Financial Group will be the first bank in North America to deploy the service, offering it to corporate customers from the first half of 2017.

This follows a soft launch earlier this year, which found that around three-quarters (74 per cent) of participants agreed that biometrics are easier to use than passwords. Nine out of ten thought biometric data would be a key part of payment security in the future.

Ajay Bhalla, president of enterprise risk and security at Mastercard, said the company wanted to make online payments “near frictionless and more secure”. He added: “Moving this technology beyond the pilot phase is a significant milestone in the evolution of payments. Online payments are being revolutionized; and now we are making Identity Check Mobile a reality for commercial use in the US, Canada, Europe, and soon, the world.”

Expanding into wearables

Wearable technology is already a huge market and looks set to become even bigger in future. In another significant partnership, Mastercard has teamed up with Fit Pay – a technology platform that adds contactless payment capabilities to wearable tech – to enable Mastercard payments on various devices.

Following the integration of Fit Pay technology with MDES, the firms will work with manufacturers such as Wearatec to expand the range of on-the-go payment options available to customers.

Michael Orlando, co-founder and chief executive officer of Fit Pay, said: “Working alongside Mastercard, Fit Pay’s platform can seamlessly add contactless payment capabilities to wearable devices, increasing consumer engagement, creating new revenue streams and making their devices indispensable.”

This is part of Mastercard’s Commerce for Every Device initiative, the aim of which is to enable collaboration with technology integrators and other companies to facilitate payment solutions to suit all types of consumers and lifestyles.

Integrating Masterpass with digital wallets

From early 2017, Mastercard cardholders who also use Microsoft Wallet, Android Pay or Samsung Pay will be able to shop online with merchants that accept the Masterpass digital payment service.

Users of these digital wallets will be able to use the tokenized credentials and device authentication methods offered via Masterpass, which is currently available in 33 markets and could be expanded to 35 locations by the end of 2016.

Launched in July 2016, Masterpass stores customers’ credit, debit and prepaid card information securely in one place, allowing users to complete a purchase with a single click or touch on a connected device.

Garry Lyons, chief innovation officer at Mastercard, said: “Enabling our cardholders to use digital wallets to shop online via Masterpass is the latest example of our work – alongside our banks, merchants and digital partners – to deliver rich, innovative, compelling and secure ways to pay and get paid across all channels and devices.”

Written by Andy Brown

Andy Brown

Andy is marketing director for payments at NCR. He has nearly 30 years' experience in e-payment systems from the delivery and support of systems in the Far East and Europe, from both the product management and marketing perspectives. Based in the UK, Andy is responsible for marketing NCR payment solutions.

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