MasterCard is putting a stake in the ground in the Internet of Things, with a new platform (called Commerce For Every Device) that enables payments to a broader range of consumer products than ever before. Spanning devices in the automotive, fashion, technology and wearables categories, the goal is to give people the ability to shop using whatever device or thing is most convenient – and with security top of mind.
Launch partners include GM, designer Adam Selman, tech innovator Nymi, smart jewelry company Ringly and Bluetooth locator TrackR. Known for dressing Rihanna, Selman (for his collaboration) co-designed with MasterCard the next generation of payment wearables: a payment-enabled dress and a collection of accessories, as modeled below.
MasterCard “gave me total leeway; the idea was less about a specific product than about changing how we think about paying, which is what designers need to do: push boundaries, think about what’s next,” Selman told The New York Times about the futuristic project.
His MasterCard collaboration includes designing gloves and sunglasses in addition to smart dresses (and the smart purse carried by the model above). The fashion tech collaboration could even make its debut at the next Met Ball, where the theme is fashion in the age of technology.
As revealed at the Money20/20 conference this week in Las Vegas, MasterCard is also pairing up with smart-ring designer Ringly and smartband-maker Nymi on products that fully replace cash or plastic. “Beyond things you can actually wear that work as payment modes, MasterCard is also working with General Motors and TrackR, a bluetooth fob that ensures that your wallet, keys, an other essentials don’t go MIA, on utilizing the payment technology,” Refinery29 notes.
The Internet of Things (IoT)—the hyper-connected world where every device from the phone to the washing machine will be connected to the Internet—is transforming the way consumers interact and transact. Given its investments in fintech (financial tech) and emerging platforms, it’s no surprise that MasterCard wants to be the leading platform in the IoT payments space.
“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,” said Ed McLaughlin, MasterCard’s Chief Emerging Payments Officer.
“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.”
According to Cisco, there will be 50 billion connected devices by 2020, and MasterCard is extending its MasterCard Digital Enablement Service (MDES) and Digital Enablement Express (Express) program to turn every device into a commerce device.
Spurring this move, MasterCard is banking on how wearable tech is powering seamless payments — and getting smarter to develop secure payments.
As PSFK notes, “According to a MasterCard Safety and Security Survey conducted in May 2015, 77 percent of consumers believe new technologies in the payments sector are having an overall positive impact on personal security. While the notion of ‘device as ID’ is only beginning to emerge within the marketplace, it offers clear advantages to the general consumer who is concerned about the safety of their personal information, but who doesn’t want to be burdened by complicated or time-consuming steps.”
MasterCard worked with NXP and Qualcomm Incorporated to develop the secure payments technology for devices and accessories. For now, only MasterCard’s issued through Capital One will be supported on smaller connected devices and accessories with product rollout starting in the US next year.
As The Verge puts it, “The goal is to make paying — and, of course, paying with your credit card — as easy as possible. Rather than needing to have a specific device on you and at the ready, MasterCard wants you to simply swipe the keys that are already in your hand or the ring that’s already on your finger. In doing so, it’s starting to get ahead of the boom in connected gadgets. MasterCard is imagining a world in which its tech even allows connected clothing to make payments.”