MasterCard Predicts Digital Payments to Extend Beyond the Phone

by Joseph Walent 0

Excitement among those of us that take to internet to discuss payment technology developments and how we anticipate our lives will be changed registered a near singular focus on the digitization of our wallets according to a new study commissioned by MasterCard. The findings were released at the center of the universe for mobile payments which finds itself squarely at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona this week.

According to the payments giant, cardholders are asking banks and retailers to provide real-life, ready-to-use mobile payments options.

But the smartphone and accompanying digital wallets will not be sole conduit of payment communications, with anticipation of wearable technology affording wearers the ability to conduct commercial interactions with minimal disruption to the overall flow of their experience gaining traction.

In response to the research, MasterCard announced a partnership with internet security firm WiseKey at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona this week.

The partnership will enable contactless payments on select luxury brand watches and wearables, with WiseKey currently working with premium watch manufacturers, including Hublot and Bulgari.

Further, the capability to blend identity and authentication verified via biometric markers gathered by wearable sensing technology will also play a role. The personal sensing technology, already being integrated into exercise clothing and for healthcare data collection, will contribute to generating our “digital identity” and thereby move closer to, dare I say it, frictionless merchant/consumer commercial interactions.

Currently, fitness tracker manufacturer Atlas Wearables, wrist-worn fitness coach maker Moov, and smartwatch creator Omate are working with both MasterCard and Coin to make selected devices payment-capable.Expanding on its partnership with Coin, MasterCard also announced a developer program at MWC for accelerating the integration of payments into wearables.

The program will enable access to the MasterCard Digital Enablement Service (MDES) to digitise MasterCard payment credentials. Approved developers will have access to Coin’s proprietary technology for enabling payments, and later this year, to digitised MasterCard credentials though Coin’s integration with MDES.

MasterCard and its peers are becoming increasingly intertwined in in mobile technologies and the interconnectedness of sensing and communication enabled devices. Mercator Advisory Group Emerging Technologies Service identified the Eight Technologies That Will Impact Payments and Banking Going Forward this past December, with our conclusions aligning with several of MasterCard’s findings released at the MWC.

Overview by Joe Walent, Senior Analyst, Emerging Technologies Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group

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