Canada is now the second country offering consumers MasterCard Inc.'s MasterPass digital wallet, with an emphasis on e-commerce sites for travel, grocery and discount stores, the card brand announced April 11.

MasterCard unveiled its MasterPass digital wallet for point of sale and online purchases in February and launched it in Australia a month later. The card brand plans to offer the wallet in the U.K. and the U.S. within the next few months.

Of merchants currently offering MasterPass during the initial launch in Canada, four accept it online. They are Porter Airlines, online discount goods site WagJag, travel site and grocery delivery service Grocery Gateway, MasterCard states in a press release.

MasterPass allows online shoppers to complete purchases with a few clicks, rather than repeatedly filling out card and shipping information. When making an online purchase, consumers would click on a "Buy with MasterPass" button to complete a sale.

That's an important factor, says WagJag president and founder Jeremy Zuker.

"As one of Canada's largest online retailers, WagJag helps millions of Canadians discover new products, so we are always looking to better serve our members," Zuker states in the release. "We are happy that our members can benefit from the ease of MasterCard's latest innovative payment technology," Zuker adds.

Similarly, Canadians who use the Grocery Gateway expect the online shopping process to be easy, says John Charleson of Longo Brothers Fruit Market Inc., operator of Grocery Gateway.

"Now, with the integration of MasterPass, our customers have an additional payment option available at checkout, essentially creating a virtual wallet at their fingertips," Charleson says in the release.

By the end of the year, MasterCard plans to expand the number of MasterPass-enabled merchants in Canada to 800. It plans to expand to 2,800 by the end of 2014.

Using cloud-based authentication, MasterPass can store up to 25 credit, debit or prepaid cards branded by MasterCard or Visa. The wallet does not accept Canada's Interac debit cards.

Banks that enroll consumers in MasterPass can apply their own branding, as can merchants and other third parties.

BMO Bank of Montreal informed its customers this week that they can sign up for the BMO Wallet, a MasterPass digital wallet, in the coming weeks.

"Canadians are early adopters when it comes to digital payments and embracing new technologies, and that's why Canada is the first market in North America where we're launching MasterPass," Jason Davies, vice president of e-commerce at MasterCard Canada, says in the release.

The point of sale version of MasterPass supports Near Field Communication, quick-response (QR) codes, and other mobile payment methods.

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