UK to be first in Europe to use MasterCard digital wallets

British consumers are to be the European guinea pigs for the MasterPass payment service from MasterCard.

Major high street and online brands, including Argos, Boots, House of Fraser, The Hut Group and, are joining thousands of retailers in the US, Australia and Canada to offer MasterPass to consumers.

MBNA has been confirmed as one of the first card issuers on the MasterPass platform in the UK.

MasterPass allows consumers to use any payment card or enabled device to "discover enhanced and secure shopping experiences with just a click, tap or touch", MasterCard said.

The service can be used online, in-store or anywhere else. It allows consumers to store all their payment, store card, loyalty, shipping and billing address details in one place.

With a single click of the MasterPass button on a retailer site, the consumer can access their wallet of choice and authenticate with a password to check out. In addition to MasterCard cards, consumers can use other branded credit, debit, prepaid and private label cards.

Marion King, MasterCard president for the UK and Ireland, said: "For retailers, MasterPass provides a faster, easier way to check out their customers, and increase sales without significantly changing the way they currently process payments."

She said MasterPass can also help retailers reduce check out abandonment rates, which is said to have affected 37 percent of all online transactions in the first quarter of 2013.

James Roper, chief executive of online retail association IMRG, said: "Digital wallets represent a major step forward in bringing down basket abandonment by offering the customer greatly enhanced speed, convenience, trust and certainty.”

MasterPass checkout services provide retailers with a convenient way to accept electronic payments online and in-store from any MasterPass connected wallet, MasterCard said. When in-store, MasterPass will work with NFC and QR codes to provide consumer choice about the best way to pay, whether with cards or a mobile.

MasterPass connected wallets provide banks, retailers and other partners with their own branded MasterPass wallet or ability to connect their proprietary wallet to the MasterPass acceptance network.

Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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