How MasterPass Is Connecting In-Store, In-App, And Online Payments
With MasterCard's contactless payment solution set to go live in more than five million brick-and-mortar locations, the company's head of digital payments talks about creating the 'true' omnichannel experience.
MasterCard’s digital payment platform, MasterPass, is set to go live for in-store contactless payments in more than five million brick-and-mortar locations across 77 countries, the company announced Thursday an event at One World Observatory.
Execs stressed that MasterPass is designed to be a seamless, “omnichannel digital payment service for consumers, issuers and merchants,” enabling secure payments online, in-app, and in-store from its diverse partners — through the bank provider the customer has already chosen. Existing retail partners include The Cheesecake Factory, Gilt, and more, with Pizza Hut as a potential partner for 2017.
Following the morning’s presentations, Matt Barr, MasterCard’s head of digital payments, North America, talked to GeoMarketing about how MasterPass is bridging the online and offline worlds — and why he thinks consumers are ready this time around.
GeoMarketing: What does MasterPass do for the in-store experience? What is new that is coming to stores?
Matt Barr: We’re taking what’s been an online experience only and bringing it to consumers and merchants so that you can tap and pay in store. It’s contactless, enabled on the Android platform for now — we’re waiting on Apple to see when or if they’re going to open it up.
Also, we’re now supporting devices well beyond smartphones. We have a “commerce for every device” program. We will be enabling control through MasterPass, but wearables to be able to be contactless. Then your different operating systems and devices. We’re working to extend contactless pay in many other ways that go beyond the smartphone.
How do you see these contactless payments continuing to evolve? Already you can hold up your Apple Watch — whether the phone is there or not — and pay for something at, say, Walgreen’s. How does that change, or how does that expand with MasterPass?
Right now MasterPass is enabled through your bank relationship, and it adds that contactless capability to the ability to shop in app and online. It’s the fact that it’s across all channels. It’s about creating seamlessness between the online and the offline experience.
With MasterPass, through just one application I can pay in-store, I can pay in-app, and I can pay online. That’s the a huge step forward if you think about payments as being about in-store, largely plastic — especially in the U.S. The contactless payments on these devices is as — if not more — secure than what can be done on the card because there are additional layers on the device.
But the big step forward is that for the first time I’ve got — through one relationship — the ability to pay securely through any channel.
We can turn on eighty million consumers overnight so they can go shop through their [MasterPass app] at any one of those merchants through that one integration. For the merchants it’s one integration, too, so it opens up a world of wallets.
How do you view consumer readiness here? This is a big step forward, but consumers in the U.S. have been slightly more hesitant about contactless pay. Do you see this addressing those concerns?
It comes back to trust. If you ask consumers, and even those that have adopted the solutions out there today, they say, “Well actually if my bank offered it I’d prefer to have it from them, because I do trust them.”
And if you ask do consumers trust banks normally? No, but they do trust their bank that they’ve been banking with for a long time. That’s key. I think when the banks start then communicating that they have this new service, I think you’ll find that that barrier to adoption comes down. We are playing the very long game here as well, but we think that’s critical.