Phones to be wallets in new paying system

Phones to be wallets in new paying system

BARCELONA - Agence France-Presse
Phones to be wallets in new paying system

Mastercard, the giant credit card company, has introduced a system called Masterpass that enables using a number of devices to make payment. AFP photo

Credit card giant MasterCard announced yesterday the launch of a new digital payment system that lets people use a wide variety of devices including smartphones to spend their money.

The system, known as MasterPass, stores customers’ banking and personal information in a “secure cloud” online where it is available for the moment of payment whether in a store or when browsing the Internet, the group said.

Banks and stores will be able to issue MasterPass-connected “digital wallets” to their customers, the group said on the opening day of the four-day Mobile World Congress, the world’s biggest mobile fair, in Barcelona, Spain. The system will also accept credit and debit card information, including cards other than MasterCard’s.

 Shoppers would be able to use the system on the web without having to key in their bank information and delivery address for each purchase.

But they also could make payments with the new system in other ways, including by waving a smartphone equipped with Near Field Communications, or NFC, technology near a special reader. “Every device is becoming a shopping device,” said Ed McLaughlin, head of emerging payments at MasterCard.

All types of payment ways to be gathered

“MasterPass brings together all of the ways we pay for things, from traditional plastic cards to digital wallets, and gives consumers the ability to make a payment from wherever they are and with one simple experience,” he said in a statement.

The system will be launched by financial institutions in Australia and Canada by the end of March, in the United States in spring and Britain in the summer before expanding to other markets including Belgium, Brazil, China, France, Italy, Netherlands, Singapore, Spain and Sweden, MasterCard said.