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Foraying into the innovative digital payment services space, card giant MasterCard Inc. (MA - Analyst Report) introduced the latest next-generation digital service – MasterPass, which will facilitate customers a quicker, secured and relaxed mode of payments for their purchases.

MasterPass is a step ahead in simplifying payments as it allows payments both through a payment card or any device. The payments can either be made electronically through any debit, credit or prepaid card or through internet using devices such as smartphones, computers, laptops and tablets. MasterPass is the revolutionized form of PayPass Wallet, which was launched by MasterCard in May last year.

Accordingly, MasterCard provided a very compact digital wallet. MasterPass will now allow smart and simple checkout services by using the near field communication (NFC) process to scan bar codes and pay through mobile devices, thereby making point of sale transactions much more easy and secure.

MasterPass also offers other value-added services like account balance information, alerts on discount offers and loyalty programs. These facilities further add to the consumers’ shopping experience.  Initially, MasterCard’s MasterPass will be made available in the U.S., Canada, U.K. and Australia. Subsequently, the services will be accessible globally.

Global Expansion is the Key

MasterCard’s MasterPass has received a warm reception from a number of financial institutions, banks, merchants and technology partners. Concurrently, VeriFone Systems Inc. joined forces with MasterCard to combine MasterPass’ latest services with the former’s GlobalBay Mobile Point of Sale and GlobalBay Clienteling software applications.

These applications will further provide cloud-based payment options to the consumers, so that they can make payments from anywhere through their mobile devices. The alliance bodes well for MasterCard as VeriFone enjoys a customer base, which includes 75% of the top 200 largest retailers in the U.S.

Similarly, mFoundry further strengthened its partnership with MasterCard with the pact to connect MasterPass with its 900 bank customers. mFoundry is a well-positioned mobile banking solutions provider in the U.S. MasterCard also became aleading investor in this firm in Dec 2011 to strengthen the combined mCommerce initiative.

Further expanding its digital payment services, MasterCard collaborated with Orange and TIM, to boost mCommerce in Spain and Brazil, respectively. The recent ease of sanctions in Myanmar also amplifies MasterCard’s growth opportunities in this richly resourced country.

Over the past years, such alliances and business investments have made MasterCard a global leader in digital payment services through NFC and secure mobile applications. Moreover, the combined market for payment from NFC-equipped mobile transactions is expected to reach more than $74 billion globally by 2015 and 85% of terminals will accept cashless payments by 2016, according to Juniper Research.

Hence, we believe that the collaborated initiative taken by MasterCard and its allies is expected to be a valued advancement in the rapidly growing mCommerce arena. Nevertheless, intense competition in the industry of digital wallet services keeps our optimistic outlook at bay for the time being.

MasterCard carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other electronic payment service providers who are performing well include Total System Services Inc. (TSS - Analyst Report), Fiserv Inc. (FISV - Analyst Report) and Visa Inc. (V - Analyst Report). All of these carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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