Standard Bank has launched MasterCard’s MasterPass, a digital wallet that allows consumers to pay for goods and services using a digital wallet. South Africa is the first country in the Middle East and Africa and the 10th worldwide to get the service. “It’s not only going beyond cash but beyond plastic that we are interested in,” says MasterCard business development head Mark Hearne. South Africa has an estimated 13,8m Internet users, a figure that is growing by about 30% each year, according to the payments firm. Unlike the SnapScan application, which Standard Bank launched in May, MasterPass was developed with online payments in mind. MasterPass is integrated into a merchant’s website and a number of South African online payment gateways are already onboard, including PayGate and PayU.
MasterCard-MasterPass-280Physical-world merchants will also be able to offer MasterPass at their point of sale if they have contact-less payment terminals installed. Consumers do not have to bank with Standard Bank to use MasterPass. They can also use Visa cards. “Soon, any South African bank and their merchant partners will be able to offer MasterPass, which can be branded and personalised as long as they are equipped with the appropriate payment infrastructure,” Hearne says.
“The convergence of technology and digital payments in MasterPass turns any connected device, at any location, into a payment device.” He says consumers can already purchase airline tickets from SAA or shop at Takealot.com using the MasterPass system. Internationally, there are more than 40 000 merchants already using it. MasterCard emerging payments leader Aaron Oliver says MasterPass will soon be available on every platform where MasterCard is accepted. “MasterPass will allow any customer, even those with Maestro debit cards, to make secure payments online. Oliver says most debit cards work with the system. A solution for feature phones is also coming. The app is available for iOS, Android and BlackBerry 7 app stores. A Windows Phone version is expected in the next three months. A BlackBerry 10 version is not planned. MasterPass has already been launched in the US, the UK, Australia, Singapore, China, New Zealand, Italy, Canada, Singapore and Poland. — © 2014 NewsCentral Media
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