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MasterCard develops payment applications for Google Glass

September 24, 2013

Many retailers and developers are beginning to realize that all communication devices inherently have the ability to help consumers pay for products and services.

Many retailers and developers are beginning to realize that all communication devices inherently have the ability to help consumers pay for products and services. The payment industry has now turned to a device that hasn’t even been released yet for inspiration: the upcoming Google Glass headset computer.

MasterCard is actively developing applications and programs that would allow consumers who use Google Glass to make payments at credit card processing stations via the device, according to a report from Payments Source. MasterCard is aiming to integrate its pre-existing digital wallet and code-reading software into the device’s offerings.

Google Glass and an accompanying application store are currently scheduled to be released to the public next year, according to a company representative who spoke with Marketing Land. The device is currently available to consumers who agreed to pay a premium price in exchange for receiving the device early. 

Garry Lyons, chief innovation officer and head of MasterCard Labs, told Payments Source that he feels all communication devices are now destined to be optimized for use in conjunction with credit card processing services. By increasing the efficiency consumers receive from credit card mobile processing devices, retailers can help to increase their sales rates as well as the goodwill their customers feel.

“Every device is going to be a commerce device,” Lyons told Payments Source. “It’s not about the payment but about making life easier.”

Making payments easier
Speaking with Payments Source, Lyons stressed the fact that his company is aiming to use mobile devices, Google Glass, and other hardware to help make life easier for consumers. He noted that merchants will not need to upgrade their payment processing software to accept payments made through these programs, as the consumer will still be using the same payment card numbers and accounts as before. Whether or not they use a Glass device to make payments will not affect the merchant. 

“I may have multiple cards, prepaid or credit, and can make the payment directly from Google Glass,” Lyons told Payments Source. “The merchant doesn’t know if it’s the Google Glass, or a mobile device or a PC. They just know they’ve gotten paid.”

Lyons also noted to the news source that he thinks payments made through Google Glass will become more efficient as time passes. He feels that the implementation of voice controls, for example, could help to limit the currently “clunky” experience. Finally, he confirmed that MasterCard is also examining potential uses for Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Gear smartwatch in regards to credit card payments.

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