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MasterCard Moves Beyond Plastic to Tap Into Mobile Payments

MasterCard is betting big on mobile payments replacing credit cards and is making moves to stay on solid footing in the mobile payment space.

Mastercard launches PayPass at CTIA Wireless 2012.
Source: Mastercard.com
Mastercard launches PayPass at CTIA Wireless 2012.

“What we really see all of this leading to, is not only a world beyond cash, but also a world beyond plastic, optimized for a digital world. We can use all of these smart devices seamlessly,” said Ed McLaughlin, chief emerging payments officer of MasterCard, at CTIA Monday.

Its latest mobile payment solution, known as PayPass Wallet Services, offers three new components to streamline transactions: PayPass Acceptance Network, PayPass Wallet and PayPass API.

PayPass Acceptance allows for contactless payments using Near Field Communication (NFC) technology either at point of sale or online using a computer, tablet or smartphone.

NFC is the technology that enables smartphones and other devices to establish a radio connection by touching them together allowing the devices to share information.

PayPass Wallet works like an e-wallet, allowing consumers to store payment and shipping information in the same place on their phone, and allows for multiple cards to be saved in the wallet. Consumers can also store credit cards besides Mastercard — including American Express , Visa and Discover .

With PayPass API, Mastercard’s partners can sync their own digital wallets into the PayPass Acceptance Network and tap into the amenities it offers, such as: check-out services, fraud detection and authentication.

"We believe what’s needed is better ways to connect consumers and merchants, simply and securely using all of these devices,” McLaughlin said.

Mastercard is also working with various handset makers including Samsung, HTC, Sony, Blackberry , Nokia and Intel to make sure that as new NFC enabled mobile devices are developed, they come PayPass ready.

“We firmly believe that every one of those devices will become a commerce device, and out of all of those devices, mobility is probably most transformative," he added. "Not only are you always able to get online, being online is always with you.”

email: tech@cnbc.com

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