MasterCard launches MasterPass, Australia gets first dibs


    Mastercard has just announced its new payment system, “Masterpass”. The service is essentially a shortcut to online payments with a credit card. The service will be available on mobile and web pages, first in Australia and Canada, with the rest of the world to follow.

    From next month, you will begin to see a button on certain websites to “pay with Masterpass”. To pay this way you will have to register with the service and it will store any of your credit cards regardless of whether it’s a mastercard or not; It will only be up to store merchants to choose whether to enable the service or not.

    MasterCard’s Head of Market Development and Innovation, Matt Barr, also said that a a dedicated NFC app for payments in store will be next. ”We will have capability to enable that but it doesn’t avoid the need for [phone] manufacturers to collaborate to make the phones enabled. We’re not going to wait for the stars to align for NFC payments,” Mr Barr said.

    The Commonwealth Bank, NAB and Westpace have all signed up to link their bank-issued cards to MasterPass, while JB Hi-Fi, Roses Only, Harvey Norman and merchants using payment gateways Merchant Warrior and PayCorp will be the first to have the option to pay with MasterPass.

    Mr Barr has said that Australia was picked not as a test bed, but because because Australians were early technology adopters and the country was experiencing a rapid growth in smartphone sales and e-commerce. He also assured that the new service as 100% secure, with no information held by the merchants but by MasterCard itself.

    The service could prove to be a real paypal competitor, avoiding long waits to transfer money into your bank account and big merchant fees.

    The launch of MasterPass will coincide with the renaming of MasterCard’s current contact-less payment ‘paypass’ to the same name.


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