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01/06/2016

MasterCard embeds payment in devices

Having just inked a deal to serve as a mobile and online payment platform for Walmart, MasterCard is looking to devices to widen its range in the digital payment space and has even launched a new grocery initiative.



First, MasterCard is partnering with consumer electronics and financial software company Coin to bring MasterCard payments to a variety of fitness bands, smart watches and other wearable devices. This collaboration builds upon MasterCard’s October 2015 introduction of the Commerce for Every Device program to enable any consumer gadget, accessory or wearable to become a payment device.



Atlas Wearables, which designs advanced fitness trackers, Moov, a wrist-based personal fitness device and smartwatch manufacturer Omate are the first set of companies working with MasterCard and Coin to implement payment technology in their products.



“The great thing about the MasterCard program is that we are adding payment functionality to items that consumers are already using – fitness bands, jewelry, clothing, watches,” said Sherri Haymond, senior VP, digital payments, MasterCard. “This makes the products more useful for consumers and enhances the value device manufacturers can deliver to their customers. Coin complements that approach and enables us to reach an expanded set of device partners.”



Coin will provide hardware and software technology that is integrated with the MasterCard Digital Enablement Service (MDES) and can be embedded into devices to enable manufacturers to implement payment functionality into their consumer products. Leveraging the MasterCard Digital Enablement Express (Express) program, the addition of Coin’s technology simplifies commercialization and enables participating issuers to expand to a new category of devices.



In addition, MasterCard has introduced Groceries by MasterCard, a new app that enables consumers to order groceries directly from Samsung’s new Family Hub connected refrigerator. Groceries by MasterCard allows consumers to share, build, manage and modify their grocery lists and shopping carts throughout the week.



Groceries was developed in partnership between MasterCard Labs and Samsung and will come preloaded in Samsung’s Family Hub refrigerator. At launch, consumers will be able to shop and select items from online grocer and integration partner FreshDirect, and supermarket cooperative ShopRite, with more than 250 stores in the Northeast.



Items are added to a cart and the final shopping list is approved with a four-digit pin, providing control over household purchases. Items are then paid for in a single checkout experience that accepts any U.S.-issued credit and debit cards. Orders are delivered directly by the merchants and are not dependent on a third-party or concierge service.



The Groceries shopping cart will also learn a family’s shopping habits, making personalized suggestions on items and brands. New features will continue to roll out, including recipe and video integration. As the rollout continues in 2016, additional grocers will be added to the Groceries app through MasterCard’s partnership with MyWebGrocer, which provides e-commerce and digital marketing solutions for more than 130 grocers across the globe.



“In a world where every device – from the phone to the refrigerator – is connected to the Internet, the ways in which consumers interact and transact with their favorite brands are changing,” said Betty DeVita, chief commercial officer, MasterCard Labs. “We’re developing compelling, safe and seamless commerce experiences for consumers across channels and devices as we continue to eliminate the boundaries between how we shop and how we pay.”



MasterCard has also developed a companion mobile app for Groceries, which allows multiple members of a family to add to a single cart from a device of their choice. At home, consumers can also use the mobile app to scan barcodes on products for easy additions to the online shopping cart.



MasterCard’s venture into the worlds of wearable and smart device payments is another sign that the Internet of Things (IoT) is becoming more of a mainstream presence in retailing and consumer engagement. Amazon has taken an early lead in smart device-based shopping with its Dash button and Alexa voice device, but expect a lot more retailers and payment providers to follow MasterCard into this burgeoning space in 2016.