MasterCard Exec Sees ‘Network of Wallets’ as M-Payment Options Expand (Oct. 8, 2015)
The recent surge of mobile payments services including Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay is impressive, but what’s more significant is that payments-enabled mobile devices are on track to expand tenfold over the next five years, creating major challenges and opportunities for developers of consumer digital wallets, said Matt Barr, MasterCard’s group head, North America, emerging payments, speaking at this week’s NFC Solutions Summit in Phoenix.
“Contactless technology will be an enabling infrastructure for all types of mobile payments, whether it’s a handset, or a ring or some other wearable,” Barr said, adding that payments industry providers will be called upon to provide convenient, “frictionless” digital payments options for myriad types of connected devices ranging from jewelry to cars. So far it appears that flexible, secure and convenient digital wallets—provided by a consumer’s bank—will be central in that convergence of mobile devices and payments, Barr suggests.
MasterCard’s MasterPass digital wallet, which launched in 2013, is rapidly gaining momentum as consumers, merchants and card issuers adapt existing systems to mobile channels, according to Barr. “With MasterPass, we’ve built a network of wallets,” Barr says, enabling banks to offer consumers their own branded version of the digital wallet. U.S. Bank, Citi, SunTrust and Navy Federal Credit Union already offer their customers a MasterPass-based digital wallet, with other banks planning rollouts next year, Barr said. More than 250,000 merchants support MasterPass, which MasterCard has expanded to major markets around the world, including Canada, U.K., Spain, Brazil, UAE, Italy, New Zealand, China, Singapore, elsewhere in Asia-Pacific and India. Next year MasterPass will support contactless payment at the POS in the U.S., Barr said.
Data continue to show that consumers prefer to use a digital wallet provided by their bank, versus alternative payment providers, wireless carriers and technology companies, Barr said, and the banks should work to capitalize on that opportunity, and soon. “It’s early days, but banks have a big opportunity to build on with mobile payments,” he concluded.