MasterCard is one of the payments giants of the world, and with Samsung, Apple, Google, and just about everyone trying to get their hands on a slice of the payments pie via mobile devices, it’s no surprise to see MasterCard offering some innovation in mobile payments at this year’s Mobile World Congress. MasterCard is announcing a partnership with Coin and WiseKey to enable faster, safer, and easier payments access on mobile devices, including watches, smartphones, and others.
Related: Our review of Coin 2.0
MasterCard and Coin seem like an unlikely match in the mobile payments space. While MasterCard is a global payments provider and card issuer, Coin is a startup that has often clashed with financial experts and institutions over its smart card, which replicates credit and debit cards when making purchases.
However, this partnership intends to set some new challenges for Coin, along with other companies looking to make innovative apps that incorporate MasterCard debit and credit cards. The program launches a new developer program, intended to provide access to an API and system to efficiently handle payments across wearables and other mobile devices.
The idea is that MasterCard will work with Coin to figure out a way to safely and efficiently provide digitized card information, much in the way American Express and others do in services like Samsung Pay. The result should help track digital purchases while improving the security of the entire process. It seems MasterCard chose Coin to partner with due to its innovative activities in the payments space, and MasterCard’s interest in catching up and making a stronger stake in payments compared to Visa, American Express, and Discover. The goal is to help make wearables as safe a way to pay as is now being seen in the most secure smartphones.
The other big announcement from MasterCard came with WiseKey, a company that specializes in security, especially with wearables and IoT devices. Quite seriously, MasterCard is interested in making mobile payments a safe and efficient experience on devices ranging from luxury smartwatches to refrigerators. We definitely see the opportunities with equipment like vending machines, and WiseKey is working with MasterCard to hit the ground running with implementations in luxury smartwatches and other devices with its security guidance.
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