CIO

MasterPass launch in NZ: ‘The future of e-commerce’

Seamless, secure, speedy checkout – regardless of device – will be mainstream in three to five years, says MasterCard exec Matthew Barr

MasterCard has launched a digital payments platform in New Zealand that's accessible by any device. It believes this will be a standard feature for all e-commerce in five years.

The platform called MasterPass provides a quick, safe and simple online checkout process from any connected device including PC, laptop, tablet and mobile, says MasterCard New Zealand manager Peter Chisnall.

“MasterPass is a crucial step in the evolution from plastic cards to digital wallets,” says Chisnall. “Payment should be facilitated securely and conveniently in the background, that is what we are driving towards."

MasterPass is a crucial step in the evolution from plastic cards to digital wallets.

Peter Chisnall, MasterCard

Chisnall points out New Zealand consumers are financially and technologically savvy. “There is a real appetite in the market for a safe and efficient way to make digital payments.”

Users can conveniently and securely store MasterCard and other branded credit, debit and prepaid card information and address books, removing the need to manually enter payment details that are required by most existing online payment systems.

"With this technology, consumers can safely do their grocery shopping on the bus on the way home from work, or make a last minute gift purchase during their lunch break, without the need to re-enter card and shipping details,” he states.

The technology was launched 12 months ago and is now in 20 countries including the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Australia.

Matthew Barr, head of market development and innovation for Australasia for MasterCard, says more than 40,000 businesses globally now accept the option to make online payments with MasterPass.

Westpac is the first local bank that has gone live with the technology but MasterCard says it is working with additional partners including ANZ, BNZ and Kiwibank.

Local retailers accepting MasterPass include Webjet, BuyInvite, DC Shoes, Jeanswest, LivingSocial, NZSALE, QuikSilver and Roxy. Retailers looking to implement it include Briscoes, Event Cinemas, Rebel Sport, Living & Giving and Ticketmaster.

“This is the next step in our journey to be the leading digital bank in New Zealand,” says Shane Howell, Westpac NZ chief product officer.

This is the next step in our journey to be the leading digital bank in New Zealand

Shane Howell, Westpac

"Digital devices are giving customers more control over the transactional side of their banking and more ability to self-serve at a time and place that suits them,” says Howell. "MasterPass is an extension of this and we expect it will quickly become very popular with our customers."

Next up:Removing friction from online transactions

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“We are optimistic [that] in the next three to five years this will be a standard feature of the e-commerce landscape,” says Barr.

“MasterPass is optimised for the smartphone,” says Barr. On a PC or bigger screen tablet, there is the ease of typing all the data, he says, but this is not the case for mobile phones.

Webjet ANZ CEO David Galt concurs, saying MasterPass removes “friction” at the tailend of online transactions.

If we don’t improve customer experience, [e-commerce] growth will be hard to maintain.

Matthew Barr, MasterCard

MasterPass provides the ease of payment so people will not go out scrounging for credit card details.

Barr says e-commerce is still in “reasonably early days” and its total share in the retail space is quite small.

“If we don’t improve customer experience, [e-commerce] growth will be hard to maintain,” says Barr.

“Merchants and technology companies want to be seen as leaders, once they have integrated it [MasterPass] others will want to join.”

Barr cites the case of PayPass that provides ‘contactless’ payment and has now become a standard feature in new payment terminals in Australia and New Zealand.

In Australia, he says, four in 10 transactions are ‘contactless’ and while he did not provide figures for New Zelaland, he says the local uptake for this type of payment is also “very impressive”.

He believes the uptake was accelerated when supermarket chains Woolworths and Coles went live with the technology and it became part of everyday shopping experience.

Xero and ASB: Business to bank payments

Xero and ASB, meanwhile, also launched a new model for cloud accounting.

A joint initiative between the two companies now allows businesses to have invoices initiated for payment from within Xero and approved and released from within the ASB FastNet Business online banking product.

The service is now available to all Xero customers who use ASB’s FastNet Business multi-user online banking platform.

“This online integration between ASB FastNet Business and Xero streamlines business-to-business payments,” says Russell Jones, ASB executive general manager – technology and innovation.

This online integration between ASB FastNet Business and Xero streamlines business-to-business payments.

Russell Jones, ASB

Small business owners, or their book-keeper or accountant, can now prepare payments in Xero and send them securely to FastNet Business, ready for the business owner to check and authorise.

“With our ASB Mobile Business app, it’s even easier as our business customers can authorise payments from literally anywhere with mobile coverage. This gives time back to busy business owners allowing them to focus on managing and growing their business or spending time with the family.”

Xero banking and payments expert Matt Vickers, explains, “Previously, business owners would manually download bank statements and then load them into their accounting software.

“We now have a secure two-way connection between banking and accounting. Our first initiative with ASB was creating the ability to start automated bank statement feeds from within their online banking platforms, rather than via paper forms. This latest initiative leverages that connection by allowing customers to initiate payment instructions and send them securely to the bank for authorisation and release.”

“This is world-class banking that is being noticed across all our markets and we hope will become a standard banking service over the next few years,” says Vickers.

Send news tips and comments to divina_paredes@idg.co.nz

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