Mastercard, Verizon Business team to bring 5G to global payments industry

Global payments company harnesses comms provider’s 5G network to innovate in payments and commerce sector, delivering solutions to support immersive retail technology and point-of-sale

Verizon Business has entered into a strategic partnership with Mastercard to deliver what they say will be scalable innovations that drive the global payments industry forward and create new experiences for consumers and businesses. These encompass contactless shopping and autonomous checkout technology to cloud point-of-sale (POS) solutions.

Mastercard and Verizon will test and embed 5G to see how they can accelerate the pace of innovation and collaboration at Mastercard’s New York City tech hub. They will explore 5G and mobile edge computing technology and use cases, while also enhancing the overall experience for Mastercard employees.

The partners will endeavour to unlock internet of things (IoT) sensor connectivity with near-real-time edge computing to power the fintech, payments and banking industries, as well as working to provide small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with what are described as hyper-automated and immersive commerce experiences.

These include: enabling smartphones or connected devices to seamlessly accept payments; unlocking touchless retail shopping experiences; creating new ways to consume physical and digital goods; empowering small businesses’ digital readiness; and enhancing the bill-paying experience for Verizon customers.

As regards smartphones and connected devices, Mastercard says its commitment to delivering contactless payments at scale will be coupled with Verizon 5G to turn certain connected devices into commerce-enabled devices. This includes tap-on-phone functionality, which is designed to allow any business to deliver new contactless consumer experiences by turning qualifying smartphones into acceptance devices.

Touchless retail shopping experiences will be enabled by Verizon 5G and mobile edge computing will be integrated with Mastercard’s retail technology to reduce hardware requirements for autonomous checkout in-store, with the goal of faster deployments and new use cases, such as mobile updates, voice and video ordering.

Enhancing the bill-paying experience for Verizon customers, the telco says it will use Mastercard’s Bill Pay Exchange real-time messaging network to enable enhanced, rapid communication between consumers and billers. Bill Pay Exchange is seen as enabling Verizon to streamline bills paid through digital banking channels, digitise paper bills and deliver a mobile-first system, reducing costs and enhancing the payment experience for Verizon customers.

Verizon will also use technology from Mastercard company Ethoca to identify and resolve fraud.

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To create the new methods of physical and digital goods consumption, the two companies aim to construct what they call a “digitally motivated” network that allows both firms to insert innovative solutions that can entice further personalised consumer shopping experiences. Potential use cases include access control for unattended retail stores and home door lock.

Aiming to enable digital readiness for small business, the partnership will see Verizon and Mastercard explore ways that 5G mobility, business internet and near-real-time edge computing can provide real-time access to industry best practices customised for SMEs. This will be done through Mastercard’s Digital Doors curriculum, which the two firms say will help businesses drive greater efficiencies and effectiveness in their online operations to meet customer needs.

“Business needs and consumer demands constantly fluctuate,” said Sampath Sowmyanarayan, CRO at Verizon Business. “Critical components of long-term success are the ability to remain agile and align with strategic financial and payments partners that have the tools and capabilities to drive industries forward.

“Coupling Verizon’s leading global IP network and transformative 5G technology with Mastercard’s deep industry expertise, leading services and solutions, and a strong commitment to innovate, is a partnership that aligns perfectly with what we are striving to achieve at Verizon and one that can create game-changing solutions.”

Linda Kirkpatrick, president, North America at  Mastercard, added: “Emerging technology such as 5G and mobile edge computing will undoubtedly reshape how we interact with each other, making it all the more critical for these exchanges – particularly payments – to be trusted and anticipate further changes.

“Through this collaboration, Mastercard and Verizon’s platforms, which connect billions of consumers, businesses, banks and governments around the world, will be a force in driving transformational change.”

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