MasterCard has launched a new technical specification aimed at establishing a unified standard for mPayment loyalty rewards, the company has announced. The specification will be demonstrated at this week’s Cartes Secure Connexions through demonstrations with multiple partners including Ingenico Group, Spire Payments, PAX, and more.
MasterCard says the standard was developed in consultation with numerous industry partners and is designed to work with a range of loyalty programs, rewards cards, POS systems, and so on. In a statement announcing the Loyalty middleware specification, MasterCard Digital Payments EVP James Anderson explained that the goal was “to enable a seamless experience in redeeming loyalty points or promotions when making mobile payments at the point of sale,” adding that the establishment of “one standard will make it easier and less costly for merchants, wallet issuers, terminal providers and others in the industry to implement these programs and focus on other elements of the customer experience.”
The specification comes at a time when mPayment systems appear to be starting to take off, and in the wake of the introduction of Apple Pay’s first loyalty rewards program, via Walgreens. While MasterCard’s interest in establishing such a standard certainly has something to do with helping its various financial and merchant partners and clients, the company itself has also begun to dabble in mPayments via its own digital wallet app. Meanwhile, competitors like Visa have been working to establish standards in other areas such as biometric payment authentication in their own efforts to adapt to a rapidly changing digital payments landscape.