MasterCard wants to tap the growing economy within mobile applications. At Mobile World Congress on Sunday, the financial transaction titan plans to announce new capabilities to its MasterPass digital payments service that will let developers embed a bevy of different mobile payments option into smartphone apps.
The company will also announce at MWC that it is acquiring C-SAM, a digital wallet maker MasterCard invested in back in 2012 and whose technology it has been using since. C-SAM is the transactions provider behind Isis, the near-field communications (NFC)-powered payments service of Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile. The company also processes mobile payments in Japan, Mexico, Singapore and Vietnam.
The new MasterPass service builds on work MasterCard started last year to put one-click purchasing in the browser through cloud-based credentials, as well as last week’s announcement that it is bringing payments capabilities to more NFC Android smartphones. Basically, MasterPass will store credit card credentials across multiple apps, which can be used buy goods or services not only within those app but also in the store.
MasterCard Chief Emerging Payments Officer Ed McLaughlin said the idea is to create a broad set of payments tools so developers can get creative. For instance, a coffee shop chain could let you order 2 pounds of coffee beans from its mobile app for direct shipment to your door. But with the same app a customer could pay for a latte in one of the chain’s shops using NFC or order and purchase that same drink ahead of time to skip the morning lines, McLaughlin said.
Forbes Digital Commerce, Fat Zebra, MLB Advanced Media, NoQ, Starbucks Australia and Shaw Theatres Singapore have all already started using MasterPass’s new capabilities.
MasterCard is getting wise to the purchasing potential of apps, something Stripe and Braintree figured out a while ago. Using a smartphone to make in-store payments is still slow to catch on, but we’re starting to see big growth in m-commerce driven by apps.