strategic partnership and investment with mFoundry, a software-as-a-service mobile banking solution serving more than 560 banks and credit unions in the United States. MasterCard's announcement comes on the heels of its partnership with Intel and is yet another step in the confluence of the technology and payments industries.MasterCard is continuing its big push to become known as a technology innovator and today it announced a
What mFoundry and MasterCard plan on doing is integrating MasterCard's PayPass technology into the financial services platform provided by mFoundry. See mFoundry's product page for a complete list of what the company is working on. In a few words ... pretty much everything mobile payments related. That includes checking your bank account, alerts from the financial institutions or banks, gifting, mobile wallet reloads and point-of-sale integration. It can work either through the mobile Web or native applications.
It is likely the POS technology stack that mFoundry has that MasterCard is most concerned with. The mobile payments company has 2D barcode (QR codes for the most part), NFC, numeric codes and sticker/SD card solutions for POS terminals. Infrastructure is the biggest barrier to widespread use of mobile payments at retailers (and NFC capable smartphones in consumers' hands). MasterCard's PayPass technology is what the company is pinning its notion of mobile payments to and the idea that the smartphone will be as ubiquitous one day as credit cards are now. Also, those that can afford smartphones are also more likely to be able to spend more money in general, which is a general boon to the payments industry, MasterCard or otherwise.
What does MasterCard have in its pocket now to push the boundaries of mobile payments? It has the initial partnership with Google and the Google Wallet project, it has a strategic deal with Intel to help develop new technology and infrastructure in payments and it now has mFoundry to provide services and connections to financial institutions that are already using mobile banking, finance and payments solutions.
As we would expect from a payments company like MasterCard, the company's strategy is as much about business as it is about the actual technology. MasterCard is moving aggressively to control the ecosystem and as such kept a company like mFoundry out of the clutches of Visa and American Express. Instead of announcing a $100 million investment in e-commerce and mobile payments, the way American Express did, MasterCard is putting its money into the ecosystem where it can harvest the fruits of other companies' innovations (especially those that are more technologically savvy) and apply those solutions to its payments infrastructure.
Here is a video that MasterCard posted having a short conversation with mFoundry.