MasterCard is launching customizable bots for merchants and banks; they have partnered with Kasisto, the company that created KAI Banking, a conversational AI platform; consumers will be able to manage their money inside Facebook Messenger, asking questions about their accounts, purchase history, spending levels, etc.; transactions will also be able to take place on Messenger with MasterCard’s Masterpass, a digital payment service. Source
MasterCard has announced three blockchain APIs to accelerate independent developers' use of MasterCard's technology; the API sets facilitate implementing blockchain nodes/servers, defining 'smart contracts' using MasterCard's technical language and executing transactions on its 'Fast Pay' network; MasterCard is targeting applications in P2P payments, trade finance and supply chain. Source
Citi customers will now have a simple and fast option for online, in-app and in-store payment needs with the new digital wallet Citi Pay; this will be viewed as a digital expansion of their current bank and credit card accounts; Citi is also partnering with Mastercard to leverage their digital payment service, Masterpass, which will give Citi customers access to hundreds of thousands of merchants in 33 countries. Source
The new credit card features a built-in fingerprint scanner that replaces the use of a pin number; the card is currently being tested in South Africa with expansion planned to Europe and Asia and then globally by the end of the year; MasterCard has confidence in the biometric authentication and the firm's chief of security says it can offer customers additional convenience and security. Source
After a successful pilot last summer Venmo has started to roll out instant bank transfers; the service will require a Visa or Mastercard debit card and allow for transfers to be done within 30 minutes for $0.25 fee; the free version of bank transfers will remain; PayPal, who owns Venmo, hopes the instant transfers will help with revenues. Source.
Mastercard is the latest company to be added to OnStar Go, a cognitive mobility platform where drivers can browse stores and restaurants and purchase directly on their dashboard; get gas and pay for it without getting out of the car; after its launch in July, Masterpass is currently available in 33 markets, with plans to expand into 36 by the end of this year; the new dashboard will be deployed across two GM vehicles in the US by 2017; "The global momentum we're achieving with banks, merchants and consumers is proof-positive of our efforts to create simple and secure digital payment experiences anywhere consumers want to shop," said James Anderson, Executive Vice President of Digital Payment Products at Mastercard. Source
Announced today, the MasterCard Foundation is partnering with the Center for Financial Inclusion (CFI) at Accion on a $4.4 million initiative to promote more robust consumer financial protection laws around the world; CFI's Smart Campaign has existed since 2009 and has certified the consumer protection practices of 68 financial institutions to-date; the MasterCard Foundation contribution will support involvement of more parties (such as regulators, non-bank financial institutions and fintech platforms) and more countries; a particular focus will be on sub-Saharan Africa. Source
Fraud protection is a leading factor for consumers and MasterCard has recognized this demand; it has recently introduced a Decision Intelligence security platform that utilizes artificial intelligence technology; the technology uses a scoring system that seeks to reduce fraudulent charges and falsely declined transactions; the Decision Intelligence platform is one of many services the firm is using to help increase card usage and retain large client relationships. Source
Mastercard announced the new service, Assemble, will allow Mastercard partners to provide checking, budgeting and other money management tools; partners can choose from a white label version or integrate certain functions through an API; the product is geared towards millennials and is part of a wider trend in the market; Tom Cronin, Mastercard's senior vice president of global prepaid product development, said “This technology enables our partners to deliver best-in-class digital experiences today, as we work to address additional segments such as gig economy workers and underserved consumers and micro businesses.” Source.
Mastercard said all consumers will be able to use biometric identification when they shop and pay by April of next year; banks offering Mastercard branded cards will have to have biometrics alongside the typical PIN and password; the company cited consumers preference for this type of authentication and new regulations like PSD2 in Europe; Mark Barnett, president, Mastercard UK and Ireland, tells Banking Technology: “It will make the purchase much smoother, and instead of having to remember passwords to authenticate, shoppers will have the chance to use a fingerprint or a picture of themselves.” Source.