MasterCard launches MasterPass in-app payments service

multi-channel retail

MasterCard has unveiled a service that eliminates the need for shoppers to enter credit card details in every single mobile shopping app.

Called MasterPass, the service allows users to store all their payment, credit/debit card, loyalty, shipping and billing addresses in one place. These in-app payments eliminate the need to store payment card credentials across numerous mobile apps and this, said the firm, would provide consumers with a "fast and simple payment experience".

The service was previously browser-based, but the latest launch integrates the service into mobile apps. This means shoppers can buy goods and services just by tapping once on their smart devices without having to leave the app they are using.

The average global smart device user downloads 26 apps. This means shoppers are storing payment card and other sensitive information with multiple app providers to set up accounts and make purchases, according to Mastercard.

MasterCard pointed to data by ABI Research that forecasts overall revenues from mobile applications, including in-app purchases, will reach $46 billion by 2016, more than five times greater than the $8.5 billion earned in 2011.

The firm said Forbes Digital Commerce, Fat Zebra, MLB Advanced Media, NoQ, Starbucks Australia and Shaw Theatres Singapore have all started using MasterPass.

Ed McLaughlin, chief emerging payments officer at MasterCard, said the service was created to address the "specific needs of the digital ecosystem".

"We're also developing a framework to make all payments using MasterPass as or more secure than anything we can do on cards today, ensuring that consumers can benefit from the highest possible levels of security."

The service will be made available to merchants and developers in the second quarter of this year.

MasterCard has also announced the acquisition of C-SAM, a mobile and digital wallet provider, but terms of the deal were undisclosed.

"In acquiring C-SAM, MasterCard will speed the development and deployment of mobile wallets and payment solutions globally, including the rollout of its MasterPass digital service," the credit card company said, in a statement.

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.