Mastercard is extending the reach of its Masterpass digital payment platform into some novel channels – Facebook Messenger and vending machines.
On Messenger, the platform will be enabled via AI bots in collaboration with Subway, The Cheesecake Factory, and online grocer FreshDirect. It’s the kind of ‘conversational commerce’ that PayPal hinted at in a recent blog post: The bots will engage with consumers on the Messenger chat app, and will be able to accept online orders using Masterpass directly within the app.
Meanwhile, a partnership with PayRange is bringing Masterpass to vending machines in 300 cities across North America. The payment platform has been integrated into PayRange’s mobile app, allowing users to pay with Masterpass when buying snacks and drinks at PayRange-compatible machines. This is an area in which Apple has also made headway, having partnered with vending machine specialist USA Technologies to enable its Apple Pay mPayment service as a payment option through USAT’s extensive network of vending machines.
The developments indicate the versatility of the new digital payment platforms. While mPayment platforms like Apple Pay helped to pave the way with the concept of using smartphones to make in-store payments, ‘all-channel’ platforms like Masterpass and PayPal have helped to spur the digital payment race into new and sometimes surprising areas, where they have the opportunity to significantly extend their reach.