MasterCard Transitions into the Digital Payments Space

Muchaneta Kapfunde | @FashNerdEditor

We have heard that Mastercard is busy making friends in the wearable tech industry and is pioneering technologies focused on e-commerce and mobile accessibility. Their new program is all about turning consumer tech gadgets into a payment devices that will give consumers a seamless and secure user experience when shopping.


According to Cisco, there will be 50 billion connected devices by 2020 and Mastercard wants in. Bragging technology that will come with the highest level of security available, the new program is already gaining support from prominent consumer influencers like designer Adam Selman, automaker General Motors, wearable technology innovator Nymi, smart jewellery label Ringly and Bluetooth locator TrackR.

On the partnership and integration into MasterCard’s ecosystem, Adam Selman, fashion designer said; “Technology is vital to the fashion industry, from textiles, printing techniques, and innovations in garments, it keeps fashion changing and evolving. Usually technology’s role in fashion is behind the scenes. What sets the MasterCard program apart is that it features the technology, while still remaining invisible, yet interactive and totally functional with the wearer. It’s exciting to be part of a project that is creating something new and fresh. At the end of the day, that’s what fashion is all about.”

MasterCard partners with designer Adam Selman to design the next generation of payment wearables
MasterCard partners with designer Adam Selman to design the next generation of payment wearables

The program is an extension of the MasterCard Digital Enablement Service (MDES) and the Digital Enablement Express (Express) program, and brings to fruition the vision that every device will be a commerce device. Through MDES and Express, any accessory, wearable or device can be payment-enabled and quickly scaled to millions of MasterCard accounts.

Launching at the Money 20/20 conference in Las Vegas this week, Ed McLaughlin, Chief Emerging Payments Officer at MasterCard shared, “As more and more ‘things’ become connected, consumers will have endless possibilities when it comes to how they pay, and will need all of their devices to work seamlessly together. This program eliminates the boundaries of how we pay by delivering a secure digital payment experience to virtually anything – rings, fitness and smart bands, car key fobs, apparel, and whatever comes along next.”

When it comes to the ins and outs, MasterCard has worked with NXP and Qualcomm Incorporated to develop technology that makes it simple to enable secure payments on virtually any device or accessory. The launch of the program will put in place a standard for expanding secure contactless and embedded payment options globally. With products beginning to roll out in 2016 in the U.S., MasterCard also plans to expand the program in other markets worldwide too.

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