The need to carry a physical wallet may be a thing of the past as MasterCard recently unveiled the MasterPass during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The platform will open up possibilities for mobile payments by allowing digital applications to store multiple cards in one phone.
Can you imagine the ease and convenience of shopping once you are allowed to pay for your purchases by simply scanning the barcode of a product in a boutique? You won’t even have to approach the cashier to check the item out. Right after scanning the barcode with your phone’s camera, you can pick it up and exit the store.
This new platform from MasterCard was based on their existing PayPass Wallet service. The service allows consumers to make purchases by simply tapping their credit cards on NFC terminals. Although there were security questions against this technology, there has been a warm reception to it from retailers and consumers around the world.
An official from the company said that the platform will allow stores to create their own app that will allow consumers to pay for their purchases by simply scanning the barcode of an item. It will also make it easy to shop online since their credit card information will be stored and charged automatically. Consumers won’t even have to input their delivery address every time they make a purchase because this will be stored as well in the store’s app.
However, even with the promise of this new technology, MasterCard will find it hard to market the platform because the technology is still costly. Although there is a big competition in the market for this kind of technology, retail stores may not necessarily be up to paying thousands of dollars for a platform that has yet to prove itself.
Dan Hays, a principal in PricewaterhouseCooper’s communications and technology practice, told CNN that retailers might not take the risk of paying millions of dollars just to upgrade their system.
Credit card companies today are supposedly working double time to persuade retailers to invest in the new technology. In fact, their arguments to push retailers to invest are loosely based on historical data such as the time that sales increase when stores started to accept credit cards and when their incomes started soaring further once online payment was introduced.
Aside from MasterPass, there are also other platforms in the market like Visa’s V.me. These two platforms will allow a consumer to store multiple credit card details on his/her phone. This means that you can use your American Express, Discover and even your Starbucks card to pay for purchases.
Bill Gajda, head of Visa’s mobile, told CNN that his company’s main goal is to “replicate the physical wallet in the digital world.”
Aside from MasterCard and Visa, the four major United States carriers also worked together to create a mobile wallet technology. Other retailers are also working on the same technology.
And although there are numerous technologies currently being offered to ease the shopping experience of consumers, MasterPass might still have to wait a while before it can fulfill its full potential.