Both Visa and MasterCard announced new digital payment programs at this year’s Mobile World Congress. http://tinyurl.com/a228eq9
MasterCard is unveiling a new MasterPass platform which will provide a “wallet in the cloud” type service. One of the more interesting features is it will use NFC. Previous cloud based wallet providers like PayPal have been talking down NFC technology. More likely most digital wallet information and features will be cloud based but NFC will facilitate authentication and communication of some value add information. It may also be used to hold small amounts of digital cash.
Visa announced it is ramping up it partner program known as Visa Ready Partner Program and released the Visa Ready logo which will inform consumers of the devices Visa capability. Visa’s wallet V.me is currently only available online in the US but is expected to test at retail POS later this year.
As reported last week by VentureBeat PayPal is testing ATM functionality through their partnership. Using the coinstar machines located in Walmarts, Safeways, Target. Dan Schatt, PayPal’s General Manager of Financial Innovation demonstrates the machine on this YouTube video – http://tinyurl.com/d34wonq .
Just like your typical ATM you will be able to deposit or withdraw cash from your (PayPal) account. But unlike ATMs you will be able to deposit coins which will be counted at the time of deposit. The machines are currently being piloted in the Dallas, Texas area.
It’s a little worrisome that phisher of PayPal accounts may be able to use this information to pull cash directly from accounts but I’m confident PayPal address any security issue.
PayPal is very close to providing full service features to the unbanked and competing with the likes of GreenDot and Bluebird. Once the ATM functionality is broadly available will PayPal’s next move be to push consumers to start direct depositing paychecks into their PayPal account?
Great article on the value of pre-paid cards services. Consumers using these types of services are growing rapidly and future of “unbanked services” is very bright.
Visa’s V.me service will be available on the retail point of sale (POS) in 2013 to a report in StrategyEye today. Jennifer Schulz Visa’s Global Head of Ecommerce is talking about V.me expansion plans to physical store sales in early 2013.
You can see the strategies of Google, PayPal and Visa moving in very similar directions, cloud based digital wallets moving from the virtural world into the physical world. I would expect V.me’s next move to be to release a plastic card.
Good article on Bluebird from Ben Jackson of the Mercator Advisory Group – Mercator Perspectives
I’ll let you know what I think soon. I opened a Bluebird account last week.