Visa, MasterCard Jockeying for Mobile Payments Position

Linc Wonham
by Linc Wonham 22 Aug, 2010

Two of the largest global credit card companies made separate moves toward wireless payment solutions, further proof that mobile payment processing continues to be one of the biggest developments in recent ecommerce memory.

Visa, the world's largest payment processor, announced a partnership with Bank of America in which the two companies are launching a test program that will allow customers to use their smartphones to pay for in-store purchases starting in September and running through the end of the year. Visa is set to launch a similar pilot program in partnership with U.S. Bancorp beginning in October.

Earlier in the week, MasterCard announced its $520 million acquisition of European payment service provider DataCash, a deal that is scheduled to close in October. DataCash processed nearly a quarter of a billion ecommerce transactions in 2009, and the move improves MasterCard's position to compete in the mobile and micropayments ecommerce markets.

The developing wireless payments space is projected to become more than a $633 billion industry by 2014, and these two payments processing frontrunners are racing one another to create new forms of payment for increasingly mobile consumers. The best strategy for ecommerce merchants right now is to closely monitor each development and to put themselves in the best possible position to accept these new payment products with minimal integration challenges.