Sunday , August 19, 2018

Are Masterpass and Visa Checkout Doomed by the New Shared Buy Button?

Speculation that Visa Checkout and Masterpass brands may be on the way out has surfaced following announcements last week from Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc. they would support a shared buy button for online purchases based on EMVCo’s Secure Remote Commerce specification.

Reports of a possible phaseout of Masterpass, launched in 2013, and Visa Checkout, launched in 2014, appeared in The Wall Street Journal.

Neither Mastercard’s nor Visa’s announcement declared either digital-wallet brand would be retired. When asked for clarification, Visa said it will migrate Visa Checkout to the SRC standard at the end of this year. Asked whether the brand itself will endure following the expected shared buy button’s debut, a Visa spokesperson says in an email to Digital Transactions News that “it depends on what iteration the program takes.”

Visa Checkout works with more than 33 million enrolled consumers, 350,000 merchants, and 1,600 financial institutions in 26 nations, Visa says. The number of users is up significantly from April 2017, when Visa said it had 20 million users. The number of Visa Checkout-accepting merchants was 300,000 a year ago.

In 2016, Visa opened a range of application programming interface codes for Visa Checkout to outside developers.

Mastercard says its digital strategy is unchanged. “We want to deliver the best digital experience everywhere—across all channels and devices; and drive chip-level security and benefits through all channels,” a statement from the network reads. “Our Masterpass efforts over the past few years have shown that consumers and merchants want an easy one-click experience to be consistent across all digital ways to pay. Just like any other migration to a new technology, this change won’t happen overnight. Over the coming weeks and months, we will work with our teams and our partners to map how we bring this new simplified experience to [the market].”

Recently, Mastercard announced BJ’s Wholesale Club Inc., Phillips 66 in its app, and Expedia as new merchants for Masterpass. In 2017, in a deal with Oracle Corp., Mastercard began to embed Masterpass into Oracle’s point-of-sale systems. As recently as July 2016, Mastercard unveiled with a good deal of fanfare a thorough-going relaunch for Masterpass, a service the network originally introduced in 2013.

Visa says merchants supporting the shared buy button would accept all participating card brands via a streamlined verification process across a range of form factors, likely via biometric authentication or dynamic passcode access techniques.

American Express Co. says it, too, supports “exploration of a common user-interface for Secure Remote Commerce.” Bloomberg reports that Discover Financial Services says it will participate, too.

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