MasterCard has been waiting to issue their new digital wallet service in North America for quite some time now. The company decided to launch the program, known as MasterPass, in Canada this past week.
MasterPass was first revealed back in February at the Mobile World Congress conference held in Barcelona, Spain. It can be used to make purchases at the point of sale, whether on the phone or on the Internet. MasterPass stores up to 25 credit cards into a secure account online. Then, users can simply select the card they want to use for the given purchase. They do not have to enter detailed contact or shipping information because that is all stored in MasterPass. This should make checkout transactions more stream-lined.
While the program is obviously designed for MasterCard users, the program can support cards from other credit card providers. MasterPass essentially acts as a middleman between the buyers and the sellers, creating a shield of protection backed by MasterCard's extensively tested secure servers. Banks are able to offer their own wallets in line with the program, which should help the program quickly expand throughout the country. Then, it is only a matter of time before it reaches other parts of North America.
Why Canada over the United States? Because Canada's ecommerce market is thriving. Its online stores are growing at a much faster rate than its retail stores, making it ideal for testing and expanding the digital wallet.