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Mastercard ups the digital payments game with latest launch

By Catherine Knowles
Wed 13 Jan 2021
FYI, this story is more than a year old

In partnership with NMI and Global Payments, Mastercard has launched its Cloud Tap on Phone payment technology.

This includes launching the first live pilot of its Cloud Point of Sale (POS) acceptance technology with Computer Engineering Group (CEG), a California-based independent IT services provider.

Cloud Tap on Phone: driven by a need

Cloud Tap on Phone is one of Mastercard’s next generation acceptance products, with the software hosted on Microsoft’s Azure Cloud platform.

The demand for faster, more convenient, safer and now cleaner ways to pay has driven the transition to contactless, and it’s a trend that’s set to continue, the company states.

In fact, in the third quarter of 2020, contactless penetration represented 41% of in-person purchase transactions globally, up from 37% in the second quarter and 30% a year ago.

With Tap on Phone, any business regardless of size can deliver contactless consumer experiences using a smartphone.

Mastercard states that Tap on Phone democratises point-of-sale technology by turning an Android smartphone or tablet into an acceptance device, allowing businesses to accept contactless payments while minimising the need to invest in hardware terminals or extra features.

Furthermore, merchants can offer curbside pick-up or payment on delivery or provide faster line-skipping checkout in-store, options that are increasingly important as consumers look to touch-free cash alternatives, Mastercard states.

Cloud POS: developing unique cloud-based products

With the introduction of Cloud Point of Sale (POS), Mastercard is enhancing its Tap on Phone product and enabling ecosystem partners to develop their own cloud-based products with new tools and capabilities.

Cloud POS moves key parts of the acceptance software - the components that enable the processing of contactless transactions and certain security functions - from the individual smartphone to the cloud, offering security, reducing development and maintenance costs, and creating scalable distribution channels by allowing immediate connectivity to partners, Mastercard states.

Cloud POS also becomes a new channel for Mastercard’s partners to bring value-added services to customers and businesses, the company states.

Mastercard will make its pre-certified Cloud POS software development kit (SDK) openly available, encouraging solution providers, fintechs, acquirers and processors to innovate and co-create new cloud-first products.

Mastercard has convened an ecosystem of partners to launch Cloud Tap on Phone, including:

  • NMI, the payments enablement technology company operating as a key integration partner and distributor.
  • Global Payments, a worldwide provider of payment technology and software solutions, that will provide point of sale acceptance technology.
  • CEG, the independent IT services company from California serviced by an independent sales organisation BNG Payments, as the first company to pilot Mastercard’s Cloud Tap on Phone.

Mastercard Acceptance Solutions Group global head Milan Gauder says, “We continue to see an accelerating shift to digital payments, with businesses of all sizes wanting to provide swift, secure, compelling point-of-sale experiences.

"Cloud POS enables us to make these experiences available to our partners with greater speed and efficiency.

“Our partners are the centre of everything we do, and our trusted technology powers innovative experiences, choice, flexibility and certainty, creating the products they need.

"Mastercard’s Cloud Tap on Phone delivers on our promise of ground-breaking products and innovation.”

Mastercard's development of Cloud POS

Development of Cloud POS technology and the Cloud Tap on Phone product has been spearheaded by Mastercard Labs, the company’s new product development arm.

The pilot with CEG follows live product testing on Mastercard’s Purchase, N.Y. campus.

Cloud POS is a product of Mastercard’s multi-Cloud strategy, meeting businesses, consumers, financial institutes and partners in the cloud with applications and services.

The company will conduct further Cloud Tap on Phone pilots and commercial deployments in other markets in 2021.

Currently, Mastercard’s Tap on Phone solution is in 16 markets across Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, North America, the Middle East and Africa.

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