Standard Bank introduced MasterCard’s new ‘digital wallet’ called MasterPass, in South Africa, to facilitate online payments for goods and services.
South Africa is the tenth in the world and the first among the African and Middle East countries to avail this service.
Mark Hearne, MasterCard business development head, remarked that the company’s aim was not just to go beyond cash, but beyond plastic.
The payments firm estimates South Africa to have about 13.8 million web users, with around 30% increase in this number every year.
In contrast to Standard Bank’s SnapScan application that was introduced in May, MasterPass was launched with the intention of smoothening online payments. Many South African online payment portals, counting PayGate and PayU, have joined the bandwagon since the digital wallet has been integrated into a merchant’s website.
This facility can also be availed at physical-world merchant outlets provided there are contactless payment terminals.
The digital wallet is not just for Standard Bank customers and can be used by anyone; even those who have Visa cards.
Hearne declared, "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. The convergence of technology and digital payments in MasterPass turns any connected device, at any location, into a payment device."
According to him, MasterPass is ready to use and customers can start shopping at Takealot.com or buy airline tickets from SAA.
Aaron Oliver, emerging payments leader of MasterCard, announced, "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 avers that "most debit cards work with the system." A solution compatible to feature phones is going to be introduced soon.
The MasterPass app is compatible with Android, iOS and BlackBerry 7. The next three months might see a Windows Phone version coming up, though there is still nothing planned for a BlackBerry 10 version.
The digital wallet has already made inroads in the UK, the US, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Singapore, Canada, China and Poland.