Thursday, September 20, 2012

MasterCard's Mobile Payment

Earlier this week, MasterCard announced a new investment in mobile payment. The Near Field Communication (NFC) that is embedded in various smartphones will allow for payments to be made via mobile devices. MasterCard created its own software kit to develop the payment apps necessary for the NFC smartphones to have, in order to participate in mobile payment. This kit is developed in order to make app creation for MasterCard’s PayPass easier. The kit will be used for Google Android and Blackberry 0S 7 operating systems. MasterCard is also working on making the kit easy for app developers to make the payment apps available to the consumers.

 Hany Fam, the president of partnerships at MasterCard guests speaks on “City Central,” a television talk show. He talks about the possibility of more than 50% of consumers being able to use their smartphones to not only make payments, but also change the way they are able to shop for things and interact with various retailers and products within the next year. He also notes that on the retail side of this operation, most of the retailers that MasterCard talked to stated that using PayPass was one of the biggest investments for them to make.

 Here is a video of the interview with Hany Fam:

 In today’s society it seems unimaginable to not be up-to-date with the newest technology or gadgets. I think that the use of PayPass will make processes such as shopping, much more faster and convenient for anyone in a rush. I am fascinated at the possibilities it can allow for the future. However, I cannot help but see the downsides of what this new system of mobile payment will do for society. First of all, I think that it takes away the social aspect of such tasks, like shopping. Although the interactions made with cashiers and workers in retail stores may be small, I believe it is a relationship that is needed to keep humans in a physical social environment. I understand that mobile payment is trying to make trivial tasks even more trivial, but I wonder how this will affect the attitudes of humans; with everything readily available at the touch of a button, will humans just become lazy? Secondly, after reading this article, I wondered how it would affect jobs in the U.S. With unemployment already a problem, will this new system of payment eliminate jobs? The system of using your phone as a payment method seems as though it would eliminate the need for stores to have cash registers, and potentially even cashiers. A description of the PayPass system is described, “It works just like your traditional MasterCard payment card-but no more swiping or giving your card to cashiers” ( This statement made me wonder what would happen to those cashiers, since they are no longer a necessity for checking out.

1 comment:

  1. The mobile payment system created by MasterCard is a revolutionary way to pay for items. It makes shopping faster and simpler. If everyone uses this device, lines at stores will be gone. There will be now more waiting to buy things you simply swipe and go.
    Though this system will be a good tool, I agree with Katie. This device will make a cashier’s job obsolete. It would be similar to the invention of online booking and travel agents. America has an unemployment problem without jobs being obsolete. Furthermore, not all cell phones have NFC devices in them; this would mean that many people wouldn’t even be able to use this device. A big company that does not use NFC devices is Apple. They believe it is not the time to start using these devices in their phones. With over eleven percent of the population owning an iPhone that is a big deal. This means nearly thirty five million customers are without an NFC device in their phone in America. In 2011, only 30 million cellphones had NFC’s in them. That is not enough for this program to work. The successful use of these NFCs relies on the cooperation of all major cell phone and cell provider companies. Everyone must be on the same page for this device to work properly and all new phones must be equipped with NFCs.
    Turning you phone into a virtual wallet is the same as putting all of your eggs in one basket. If your phone were also your credit card then, losing it would be a catastrophe. If you lost your phone you would lose your credit card. According to USA Today, someone in America loses their smartphone every 3.5 seconds. That is a lot of customer service for cell companies. If the phone is also the credit card, that will create a problem for not only the cellular provider, but also MasterCard. That is a huge hassle and a lot of money and time spent to help people who have lost their phones. Furthermore, this leaves people wide open for theft. If you are walking down the street texting someone can grab your phone right out of your hands and use it to buy things in your name then toss it.
    Using NFCs in phones is a good idea but will cause a boat load of problems for cell phone companies and MasterCard’s mobile payment system.