MasterPass Digital Wallet Heads to Canada (April 11, 2013)
Canadian consumers will be the first in North America to be able to use MasterCard’s new MasterPass digital wallet, the company announced today. Unveiled in February at Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress, MasterPass offers users a cloud-based mobile solution for online shopping. Consumers can store up to 25 credit, debit or prepaid cards in the wallet—whether the cards are branded by MasterCard or another payment network, including Canada’s Interac debit card network—along with up to 25 shipping addresses. Once cards are loaded, users can make online purchases with a single click. For in-store purchases, MasterPass supports NFC and QR code technology.
MasterPass is launching in Canada with merchant partners, including Porter Airlines, Grocery Gateway, daily deals provider WagJag and its affiliated travel deals Website Jaunt.ca—all of which have enabled MasterPass checkout services on their Websites. MasterCard said it plans to expand MasterPass acceptance to 800 e-commerce merchants by the end of 2013, and 2,800 by the end of 2014. In addition, banks can partner with MasterPass to offer their own branded wallets. BMO Bank of Montreal announced today that its customers will be able to sign up for the bank’s MasterPass-enabled wallet in the coming weeks.
By launching MasterPass in Canada, MasterCard is entering a market with a booming e-commerce sector. Electronic retail sales in the country grew by 26.6 percent in the six months ending in February, compared to just 2.9 percent growth for in-store retail sales over the same period, according to MasterCard. “Canadians are early adopters when it comes to digital payments and embracing new technologies; that’s why Canada is the first market in North America where we’re launching MasterPass,” noted Jason Davies, vice president of e-commerce, MasterCard Canada.
MasterPass already has rolled out in Australia, and will debut in the U.S. and U.K. by this summer, MasterCard said. By the end of 2013, the wallet will expand to markets including Belgium, Brazil, China, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Singapore, Spain and Sweden.
Canada has become a hotbed of payments innovation and prepaid activity. For more on how digital wallets will spur continued prepaid adoption in Canada, check out the spring issue of Pay Magazine, coming in May.