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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : August 02, 2013

UK becomes Europe's guinea pig for MasterCard's digital wallet

MasterCard's digital wallet, MasterPass, is making its European debut in the UK, with some of the country's biggest brands, both on- and offline, signing up to the platform.

by Helen Leggatt

MasterPass, the digital wallet service from MasterCard, has already been launched in Australia, Canada, and the U.S. It allows users to upload payment and loyalty card information to a digital wallet. This information can then be used on a mobile device in-store, using QR codes and NFC, or via an online store on a desktop, to make purchase payments or redeem loyalty points.

As well as providing consumers with a faster, easier check-out in-store, MasterPass can also help reduce online checkout abandonment rates, says MasterCard president Marion King.

According to King, online checkout abandonment rates "affected 37% of all online transactions in the first quarter of 2013, equating to more than £6 billion [$9 billion] in much-needed revenue per year according to IMRG and Capgemini. UK consumers spend more than £62 billion [$93.7 billion] a year online".

Argos, Boots, House of Fraser, The Hut Group, and will be among the first UK firms to implement the MasterPass service.

How well British consumers embrace mobile wallet use will be interesting to follow. Earlier this year, London-based ICM Research surveyed 2,015 consumers in the UK and found that, despite smartphone penetration reaching some 60%, only a third would 'definitely' or 'probably' use their mobile device as a wallet to make payments, collect vouchers or use as tickets for events and on public transport.

That figure rises to 46% when only smarthphone owners' answers are considered, with younger people more likely to do so - 55% among 18-24 year olds and 49% among 25-34 year olds.

There is another rise, to half of respondents, when an incentive to use a mobile wallet, such as a discount, is offered and over half (51%) would use mobile payments if their security concerns were addressed.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: digital wallet, Europe, mobile payments, mobile trends, retail trends, shopping cart abandon rate

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