UPDATE: MasterCard releases Mobile PayPass SDK to simplify payment application creation (Proxama Comments)

MasterCard say they are continuing to make payments simpler and more secure through the release of the Mobile MasterCard® PayPass™ User Interface Software Development Kit (UI SDK) for Android and BlackBerry OS 7 mobile operating systems. Free to license and available globally, this new toolkit is said to help issuers, mobile network operators and third party developers rapidly build innovative new mobile applications that give consumers the speed and convenience of PayPass Tap-and-Go contactless payments – directly from their smartphone. 

The availability of NFC-equipped phones is rapidly increasing, with over 70 models already approved by MasterCard as Mobile PayPass compatible devices, and the growth of Mobile payment transactions is accelerating. According to Juniper Research, payments from NFC-equipped phones are expected to be responsible for sales exceeding $75 billion by 2013.

Prior to the launch of the Mobile MasterCard PayPass UI SDK, highly specialized skills were required to develop applications that could interface with the NFC capabilities in popular smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S3, HTC One X, Sony Xperia S and RIM BlackBerry Bold 9900. Now, MasterCard is providing a programmer-friendly set of functions that make it easy for application developers to rapidly deliver payment apps to consumers – without having to become smart card programming experts.

“BMO’s vision is to be the bank that defines great customer experience,” said David Heatherly, Vice-President, Payment Products, BMO Bank of Montreal. “We fulfill that vision each and every day by continuing to innovate and by delivering products and services to our customers that are relevant in today’s market and offer a better payment experience. Last September, BMO became the only major Canadian bank to roll out a ‘Tap and Go’ payment solution for mobile phones using a Mobile PayPass tag. MasterCard’s UI SDK gives us the opportunity to continue to be a leader in this space as the technology supporting mobile payments evolves.”

MasterCard’s toolkit provides everything software developers need to quickly create contactless payment solutions for Android and BlackBerry users:

  • API Code Libraries
  • API Specification Documentation
  • Developer Guide
  • Sample UI Application Code
  • White-Label Reference UI Application
  • Test Suite to Ensure Compliance and Apps

These tools help to rapidly integrate Mobile MasterCard PayPass into a proximity payment mobile UI application, a mobile banking application or a mobile wallet application. The White-Label Reference UI Application allows financial institutions to create a contactless mobile application within their own branded app. Along with a developer friendly toolkit, MasterCard has also streamlined the UI approval process so that customers can quickly and efficiently bring a Mobile MasterCard PayPass service to market.

“Consumers are gaining comfort and familiarity with mobile and contactless payments, requiring the financial institutions and mobile network operators that offer these services to ensure a consistent and positive experience,” said Mung Ki Woo, Group Executive, Mobile at MasterCard. “As we continue to lead the industry with mobile and contactless payments innovations, we saw an opportunity to simultaneously help our partners and improve the overall user experience. Our first-ever UI SDK provides smart tools and makes it easier for our partners to issue a complete contactless payment solution on mobile.”

Mobile PayPass UI SDK is available to developers of all levels including corporations, financial institutions, merchants, third party developers and more. For more information, please visit http://www.mastercard.com/mobile/mobile-paypass.html

>> UPDATE: 19.09.2012 - Proxama welcomes MasterCard’s UI SDK launch for NFC mobile payments but highlights it’s not a cure-all for the industry 

Proxama, a provider of NFC mobile wallet technology, has welcomed the launch of MasterCard’s user interface software development kit (UI SDK) as a real boost to the mobile contactless payments industry. Proxama, a licensee of the UI SDK, works closely with MasterCard and has contributed to much of the development of the kit’s software. However, it cautions that this is not going to be a ‘cure-all’ for businesses looking to develop their NFC payments offering.

As one of MasterCard’s system integration partners, Proxama works with card issuers to simplify mobile card issuance systems and to help businesses navigate through the minefield of different mobile operating systems, handsets, network operators and card schemes, not to mention the array of emerging mobile wallets from the likes of Google.

Miles Quitmann, Managing Director of Proxama explains; “We are delighted to see MasterCard pushing the market forward – but it’s not the silver bullet that some people may assume it to be. Whilst it will enable card issuers to step into the world of NFC payments to build and pilot MasterCard PayPass mobile contactless payments, there are other card payment schemes to consider and additional security may well be required. Then there is the thorny issue of providing on-going application support for the inevitable changes in mobile operating systems and the advent of new NFC enabled handsets. To deal with these changes, card issuers will need to partner with an NFC specialist with a platform that can support mass market deployments. At Proxama, we have the experience, expertise and technology, as well as key relationships with major Trusted Service Managers, to help card issuers move into this market quickly and cost effectively and to support their needs for the future.” 

Proxama’s Mobile Payments Reference Kit1, developed in conjunction with MasterCard, helps card issuers to understand and test how their existing physical cards can be transitioned onto mobile phones.

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Categories: Mobile Payments, Mobile Wallet, Near Field Communications

Author:Steve Atkins

Steve Atkins is the main contributor and Editor in Chief of Contactless Intelligence – covering contactless, NFC, mobile and cloud-based technologies. Even with over twenty five years of experience in the high tech industry, he is still fascinated with all kinds of technology and the impact it has upon end users. He is currently based in Berlin, Germany.

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