In Beta: MasterCard Opens its Payments Platform

by Mercator Advisory Group 0

Over the past couple of years, the payments industry has woken up to the fact that the developer community is a tremendous potential source of transaction volume. As app/uploadedImages/Content/Featured_Stories/mastercasrd.bmp

volume has increased on smartphones and tablets, the software developer can reach millions of potential users. Developers within large enterprises, smaller shops doing contract work for enterprise customers, and the classic “one man in the attic” are potential drivers of payment volume.

IP Commerce has been a leader in the open payments platform world, connecting multiple services and payment mechanisms through its comprehensive platform. And, PayPal has earned no little attention from its X.com Adaptive Payments initiative, a program to drive payment volume through the PayPal system.

Now MasterCard is opening up its network through a set of payment APIs, an ATM, rePower, PayPass Locator, and access to its Offers system. The program is now in Beta serving, as its Web site says, “a small group of external developers.”

It’s easy to imagine issuers building apps to take advantage of the API set. Hook up that app or facility to Aisle Buyer, for example, and you have an in-store purchasing capability tied to the issuer’s MasterCard. How this new facility gets used from MasterCard will be interesting to watch. In particular, it will be interesting to note how thoroughly MasterCard engages with and supports the developer community. Offering its marketing power would go a long way to driving developer interest.

We are very excited to announce the opening of our portal for beta testing with a small group of external developers.

Over the past few months, MasterCard developers have tested the site, the initial services, and created a few cool apps. And now, we are confident and excited to enable a small group of external developers with exclusive access to our site and services. As you can see, our site provides sample code, SDKs, libraries, forums and blogs, as well as a mechanism to request development keys that will allow developers to code and test in the sandbox.

In this first phase, developers will have access to three services:

Payments: Our global network

Locations: Our point of interest databases to deliver ATM, rePower and Prepaid Travel Card locations in the U.S., as well as PayPass locations in the U.S. and Canada

Offers: Discounts, deals and offers currently available through the MasterCard Easy Savings Program

This is just the beginning. We will be enhancing the features of the services we’re offering, plus adding many new services over the coming months and years.