MasterCard are aiming to be the main innovators and leading lights in fintech and from what I saw at their MasterCard Lab’s, I think they can. Qkr, Selfie Pay and wearable technology are some of the products that we are going to see a lot more off.
Qkr is MasterCard’s payments app that is being successfully used by Wagamama, Zizi and Ask Italian in the UK, and it will be rolled out in Ireland over the coming months. Qkr is designed to integrate with POS systems in restaurants and it solves one of the main problems in a restaurant, which is waiting for your bill and gives customers the ability to pay the bill at their table with the option of splitting the bill if need be.
Other areas that Qkr is being used is launderettes and vending machines, where you no longer have to root around for coins . Their vending machine solution, which was developed over three days will be launched in America before it is launched elsewhere. It allows retailers to process payments cheaply and easily without needing Wi-Fi, whilst also ensuring that no money has to be emptied from the vending machine.
A vending machine adapted for the Qkr app.
All you need is a $20 piece of kit which you add on to your vending machine, which communicates with the Qkr app on your smartphone via Bluetooth to take payment, and if you don’t get your drink you don’t pay.
Another product that MasterCard has developed is their MasterCard Aid Network which will be very useful to NGO’s as it helps make sure that any aid designated for people in third world countries or disaster zones gets to them.All that you need to do is install a cheap tablet pictured above, in a shop, a card reader pictured below, and prepay cards which work with the card reader. The cards, one of which is pictured below, are topped up with credit and they will only allow you to buy certain products. Products such as nicotine and alcohol for example are blocked and you can also decide what other products that you want to block.Two other products that will be introduced are MasterCard’s Selfie Pay and they have teamed up with Bionym giving them their fintech knowhow for their Nymi bracelet. Both of these products are set to revolutionise fintech, as they offer secure methods of payment and will reduce shopping queues as your payment can be processed in seconds.
Selfie Pay which will be launched in the summer allows you to pay via biometrics such as fingerprints or images of your face and it offers you the option of having two methods of biometric authentication. If it checks your face, it pays close attention to your eyes and looks for the blood vessels behind your eyes which are as unique as your fingerprint.
The Nymi bracelet offers three levels of security, your heart ID, the bracelet itself and an authorised authentication device such as a smartphone. The bracelet reads your ECG (electrocardiogram) every time you put it on, and it then uses sensors to make sure it’s still on your wrist. Every time you remove the wristband, you’ll have to re-authenticate your heart rhythm when you put it back on.