Enterprise Mobility: MasterCard Pushing Into NFC, Mobile Payments
MasterCard wants more people using their smartphones to pay for goods and services. Certainly more smartphones rolling out over the next few quarters will come preloaded with NFC (near-field communication) hardware, which converts a device into a de facto wallet: Tap it against the proper receiver, and conduct an electronic transaction. More NFC-capable smartphones means more people with the ability to make electronic payments means more money and market presence for MasterCard if it can push a platform of apps that facilitate mobile purchases. Some 85 percent of the world's financial transactions are conducted with physical cash or checks, and it dearly wants electronic payments to take a bigger piece of that pie, according to the company. In order to promote its efforts, MasterCard recently invited a considerable media contingent to an event in midtown Manhattan, where it showed off some of the mobile-payment apps and projects currently under development. MasterCard's QkR app, for example, lets users tap their smartphone against a QR code, QkR label, or NFC tag in order to not only purchase goods and services, but receive multimedia content related to those products. Through the app, users can also post coupons on Facebook or Twitter for others to grab using their smartphones. MasterCard is also exploring electronic purchases via Kinect, Microsoft's hands-free controller.