With so many methods for mobile payments being put through the wringer, why not add another one? MasterCard and ING have introduced a new payment method that interweaves both mobile and internet payments. Sound confusing? We’re just getting started.

NFC or Not?

There are two scenarios being tested: one where the customer is shopping online from their NFC-enabled phone, and one where they are shopping from a tablet or PC. Both scenarios make use of the data stored in the secure element of the user’s NFC phone, even though the actual communications technology is never used.

When a user is shopping from their phone they select the items they want to buy, choose their method of payment, add their shipping information and then enter a PIN to complete the transaction. MasterCard’s PayPass app then generates a secure code to send to the merchant, verifying the transaction. When a user is shopping from a tablet or PC, the user shops as above, but when they are ready to check out, they scan a QR code into their phone, which completes the transaction.

According to MasterCard, “In both cases, coupons and vouchers can be applied in real-time as the consumer shops, and e-receipts presented upon successful payment.”


All in One for All?

This solution has actually been in testing since mid-October, but was only officially announced yesterday. Jorn Lambert of MasterCard says that “This trial builds on our recently announced PayPass Wallet Services and our vision of delivering to consumers and merchants a secure, converged payments experience in-store, online or on a mobile device.”

Whether users actually want a system that combines mobile payments with online shopping and most other transactions is something that only time will tell. With all your payments coming from a single place, one slip in security could be a very big problem

What do you think will end up being the winner when it comes to mobile payments? Will it use NFC, QR codes, something else, or all of the above? How long do you think it will be until mobile payments enter the mainstream?


Kristofer Wouk
Kristofer Wouk is a tech writer, gadget reviewer, blogger, and whatever it's called when someone makes videos. In his free time, he likes to make music, read and write short fiction.