Mastercard Hopes To One-Up Apple Pay By Hooking Into Retail And Chat Apps

CakePayLess card. More connected commerce.

That’s Mastercard’s new mantra as it paves the way for payments in an IoT environment.

While IoT commerce might mean consumers buy en masse from their connected fridge one day, Mastercard is starting from a more tangible place, helping brands like JetBlue test bookings in chat apps like Facebook Messenger.

“No matter what hardware or software, device or OS a consumer uses, we want to enable them to pay how they want,” Craig Vosburg, president, North America told a group of retail and banking partners in One World Observancy in lower Manhattan on Thursday.

Mastercard is actively testing its SDKs within different social media messaging environments like Twitter, WhatsApp and WeChat, said one Mastercard exec at the event.

“We learned there’s [a barrier to asking consumers] to install bespoke apps all the time and it was better to enable the experience within the apps they’re already in,” he said. “JetBlue wants to know how far the messaging environment works for bookings, and it’s not just Facebook. How can they use chatbots to capture people who don’t want to download another airline app?”

Mastercard is also expanding its payment service Masterpass to in-store merchants, as well as its payment APIs by growing its developer community for banks and retailers.

Brands like BJs, Office Depot and MLB.com have already developed on top of the Mastercard Developer Zone, while Saks.com, Subway, JetBlue and The Cheesecake Factory are deploying Masterpass in the next few months.

Masterpass will power checkouts for The Cheesecake Factory’s new mobile payment app, CakePay, which launched in April. The integration process begins next month, according to Doug Benn, EVP and CFO of The Cheesecake Factory. 

“Our objective is provide more convenience, so there isn’t that awkward moment with the bill at the end of the dining experience,” he told AdExchanger. “In [early tests] we got good feedback, and people seemed to like it. We are certainly tiptoeing toward [ways to] expand the capability to include loyalty data [or] mobile order-ahead, but right now, it's just a payment app for us.”

Brands like The Cheesecake Factory and JetBlue are trying to bolster the utility of their branded apps, particularly when studies show 23% of users abandon an app after a single use, according to app retention analytics from Localytics.

The airline JetBlue is testing a Masterpass integration with Facebook messenger to engage customers who book directly from a live chat.

FullSizeRender-11Masterpass then connects people securely to their banking app to confirm the checkout directly and then brings them right back to the chat box.

Although it’s still early, one could gather how Mastercard’s own transactional data set might be enriched with these new insights into the shopper journey.

While Masterpass already facilitated faster checkouts on browsers and apps, Gerry Lyons, chief innovation officer for Mastercard, thinks the extension to physical stores positions the brand as a stronger omnichannel payment and commerce provider.

Mastercard says its network of banking and merchant partners are its main differentiator from competitors like Apple.

Mastercard presently has 2.3 million cards issued, which can be used at 40 million merchants globally. Its 22,000-strong bank network issues approximately 2.3 billion of those cards.

 

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