Mastercard and Verizon join forces to offer 5G contactless payments

Digital wallets
(Image credit: Business World)
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Mastercard is collaborating with Verizon in a move that will see 5G contactless payments (opens in new tab) become more widely available for both consumers and small and medium-sized businesses.

The plan is to harness Verizon’s 5G connectivity with the power of the Mastercard payments network to give consumers more freedom, and business owners the opportunity to boost their point-of-sale (opens in new tab) experience.

By tapping into the potential of Internet of Things (IoT) sensor connectivity the arrangement could, in time, deliver a much more potent payments infrastructure (opens in new tab). Mastercard aims to use Verizon’s 5G service to turn connected devices into e-commerce-enabled (opens in new tab) units – cash registers in other words. The development could produce better options for consumers who want to pay in other way - using smartwatches (opens in new tab) for example and enjoy touchless retail (opens in new tab) environments, like those already seen at Amazon Go (opens in new tab) stores.

Businesses could stand to benefit considerably, with the likes of Mastercard’s Tap on Phone service that lets companies deliver contactless consumer payment options. 

The announcement will see Verizon’s 5G and Mobile Edge Computing technology integrated with Mastercard’s already powerful retail technology. Along with offering consumers easier ways to spend their cash, business look set to reap dividends from the services, including a beefed up edition of Mastercard’s Digital Doors, allowing them to build a more rounded e-commerce (opens in new tab) experience.

Contactless payments

However, the announcement today underlines that this is very much a work in progress, with future innovations not expected to see the light of day until 2023. 

In the meantime, Verizon plans to tap into Mastercard’s Bill Pay Exchange, the real-time messaging network (opens in new tab) that offers instant communication between consumers and billers. 

Bill Pay Exchange could eventually allow Verizon to offer a mobile-friendly means of combining conventional paper billing into an all-digital experience, thereby saving money and improving overall efficiency.

“Emerging technology such as 5G and Mobile Edge Computing will undoubtedly reshape how we interact with each other, making it all the more critical for these exchanges – particularly payments – to be trusted and anticipate further changes,” said Linda Kirkpatrick, president, North America at Mastercard. 

“Through this collaboration, Mastercard and Verizon’s platforms, which connect billions of consumers, businesses, banks and governments around the world, will be a force in driving transformational change.” 

Rob Clymo has been a tech journalist for more years than he can actually remember, having started out in the wacky world of print magazines before discovering the power of the internet. Since he's been all-digital he has run the Innovation channel during a few years at Microsoft as well as turning out regular news, reviews, features and other content for the likes of TechRadar, TechRadar Pro, Tom's Guide, Fit&Well, Gizmodo, Shortlist, Automotive Interiors World, Automotive Testing Technology International, Future of Transportation and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International. In the rare moments he's not working he's usually out and about on one of numerous e-bikes in his collection.