MasterCard's PayPass Wallet will span online, mobile, in-store shopping

The company will let third parties resell its own service or use its API to build their own

MasterCard WorldWide announced a digital wallet on Monday that consumers will be able to use for purchases in stores, on the Web and on their mobile phones.

The global credit-card company's entry into digital wallets will tie into its PayPass point-of-sale system, with nearly 500,000 locations around the world where consumers can tap a card or phone with NFC (near-field communications) to make a purchase. But with the new offering, called PayPass Wallet Services, MasterCard will also allow third parties to create payment systems under their own brands.

MasterCard announced the system at an event on Monday evening in New Orleans, the night before the CTIA Wireless trade show begins. In a Tuesday morning keynote speech at the show, the company will also unveil a partnership with Intel to help PC makers build PayPass tap-to-pay hardware into ultrabooks.

To use PayPass Wallet, consumers will sign up and provide information for as many as 25 credit cards, including brands other than MasterCard, plus shipping information. When making an online or mobile purchase, they will be able to choose a card and a shipping destination from among the selections they've entered.

When buying on the Web or a phone, users will tap the PayPass Wallet Services logo and be prompted for a single password. Once that is entered, they will choose a card and shipping site and click to complete the transaction. Using an NFC-equipped phone at an in-store terminal, they will also get that "carousel" of selections, though they will have to choose a card from their list that could be used with the PayPass tap-to-pay system.

What sets MasterCard's offering apart from digital wallet systems announced by Visa, Google, PayPal and others is how much the company is opening up its platform to third parties, said Gartner wireless analyst Mark Hung. Banks and other partners will be able to adopt PayPass Wallet Services in two different ways: They can use MasterCard's own service under their own brand or just use the company's API (application programming interface) to build their own platform. The only sign of MasterCard in partners' offerings will be the company logo built into the PayPass Wallet logo.

Visa's V.Me system, announced last year, also spans online, mobile and in-store purchases, but Visa is holding that offering closer to its chest than MasterCard is, Hung said. That should mean consumers are offered more opportunities to sign up for PayPass Wallet, he said. And compared with PayPal, which is approaching the in-store space from online and mobile by slowly building up a network of point-of-sale devices, MasterCard has a head start in the hardest part of the equation, he said.

MasterCard won't get paid when consumers use a rebranded PayPass Wallet-based service and choose another brand of card, but offering the service does give MasterCard some advantages, said Geoff Iddison, group executive for innovative platforms at the company's E/M-Commerce division. For example, banks that use the platform could offer MasterCard customers sign-ups for PayPass Wallet before users of other cards, he said. Iddison expects the wallet to be used with MasterCard cards 80 percent of the time.

The built-in PayPass radios in ultrabooks are designed to let consumers make online purchases using physical credit cards for extra security. Intel is building support for the PayPass components into its chips for ultrabooks and has built reference designs of systems with the radios built in. Manufacturers will be able to start offering ultrabooks with PayPass built in starting in the second half of this year, said Amit Bodas, a strategic planning manager at Intel.

PayPass tapping will work in conjunction with the identity protection technology built in to all ultrabook platforms. The combination of the consumer's own card tapping their own ultrabook, in conjunction with using PayPass Wallet on an online store, will provide multiple factors of authentication, Bodas said.

Gartner's Hung thinks digital wallet adoption has been constrained by the weak economy but will show significant growth over the next few years. Yet he cautioned that traditional credit-card purchases will still far outnumber digital wallet purchases in five years.

Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen's e-mail address is

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

More about CTIAGartnerGoogleIDGIntelLawsonNFCPayPalVisa

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Stephen Lawson

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts