MasterCard's payment processing subsidiary DataCash is leveraging the card network's development arm to lure merchants with a mix of technology that includes mobile payments, digital marketing and augmented reality.
"We want to work with our partners, those who want to bring new payments innovation to market, but payments is not their core competency," says Wendy Dobson, director of sales for DataCash.
The technology was largely developed in MasterCard Labs, the card network's research and development initiative. The products include the QkR mobile ordering system, the ShopThis! system for digital content sales, and the LinkTo system for selling goods through links embedded in video content.
The processor has also partnered with Von Bismark, a London-based augmented reality company, to launch an app that uses motion capture and augmented reality to allow consumers to interact with digital inventory.
Von Bismark's technology works through a video terminal that shoppers control by moving their hands. For example, consumers can try on virtual outfits, take photos and share those images with friends.
DataCash integrates these technologies with its hosted payment page, with manages acceptance, transactions, processing and security compliance. The company also manages payments data, which can be used to inform other marketing initiatives.
"This is all about customer convenience and enabling impulse purchase," says Zil Bareisis, a senior analyst at Celent, who says in-app micropayment purchases provide a similar shopping experience. "It also closes the loop for advertisers. Instead of just placing an ad in a magazine, they can now convert these ads into purchases, track and measure them."
Payment companies are working to bring the transaction closer to the shopping process. Sionic Mobile, for example, recently embedded access to Google Wallet into its rewards network. Another company, ZooZ, enables mobile shoppers to make a payment by tapping a banner ad inside of a mobile app.
And U.S. Bank and Monitise are using digital watermarking and other mobile technology to integrate product discovery, content, social sharing and payments.
Augmented reality, which draws digital content over a video feed of the real world, is picking up steam with some companies. Paysafecard is using augmented reality to help consumers find store locations, while Alliance Data has added augmented reality to its suite of merchant tools. U.S. Bank and PNC use augmented reality to help customers find branches and ATMs.