Mastercard Masterpass Fast Lane Speeds Up UK Black Friday Shoppers


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Talk about life in the fast lane. Mastercard is literally paving the way (or at least, using snazzy floor stickers) for a faster, more efficient and enjoyable shopping experience this Black Friday.

A partnership with Intu, owner of many of the UK’s largest and most popular shopping malls, is testing a Masterpass ‘Click and Collect’ Fast Lane this holiday season for time-pressed shoppers who want their online experience reflected in real life.

Mastercard installs fast lane in UK's largest shopping centre for Black Friday 2017

Now in place at the UK’s biggest shopping centre, the Intu Lakeside in Essex, holiday shoppers can take advantage of a 200-metre Masterpass lane to speed up their purchases, which they’ll find by following signs, floor decals and hard-to-miss attendants in neon yellow vests.

The test is an important one for Mastercard, whose latest research for its digital wallet Masterpass found that slow walking by other people is a grievance for 84% of shoppers when it comes to the brick-and-mortar experience. Dawdling isn’t the only complaint.

As Elliott Goldenberg, Head of Masterpass at Mastercard explains in a video shot at Intu Lakeside, above, “All retailers we work with are continuing to refine their business models to adjust to the needs of today’s consumer. The data we see shows a real change in buying behavior as consumers continue to buy more things online and technology brings them speed and convenience.”

“Some consumers are shopping as a social experience. Some are looking to browse before buying online, whilst others are here to ‘click and collect,’” he noted.

Intu Lakeside prides itself on testing retail innovations such as the Masterpass Fast Lane. A series of streaming videos offers online shoppers real-time style and gifting advice from personal shopper Carlene Noel. Every item featured is available for instant purchase.

“Retail has always been an inventive industry and the UK has remained at the forefront of this,” commented Intu CEO David Fischel. “We’ve launched Intu Accelerate to drive forward innovative technology that will entertain and engage shoppers and help our retailers flourish.”

Other innovative shopper technologies being tested Intu include smartphone technology created by start-up GoInStore; live-chat communications powered by TokyWoky; and chatbots developed by BotsAndUs—all startups that participated in the Intu Accelerate initiative.

“It’s giving talented start-ups like GoInStore, TokyWoky and BotsAndUs the opportunity to accelerate their businesses as they trial their ideas within live environments and test their potential to shape the future of retail,” said Fischel.

GoInStore co-founder Aman Khurana commented: “It’s been fantastic working with Intu to bring a personal shopping experience usually only found in-store to a large online audience in the run up to Christmas. And we’re proud that the technology allows shoppers to buy the items featured whilst they watch the broadcast.”

Mastercard is hoping for a successful run—or at least quick sprint past checkout queues—at Intu’s biggest mall this holiday season too.