updated 26 Jul 2014, 11:09
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Tue, Jun 03, 2014
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Shopping online just got easier with MasterPass
by Gurveen Kaur

Consumers can soon say goodbye to keying in their details when making purchases online.

MasterCard launched MasterPass in Singapore yesterday - a digital wallet that enables users to store their payment information in a secure online cloud.

Instead of consumers having to input their 16-digit credit card number, as well as their billing and shipping addresses every time they want to make an online transaction, MasterPass eliminates these steps, allowing for a quicker and simpler check-out process.

At a media launch yesterday, Julienne Loh, MasterCard Singapore general manager, highlighted how it could be "extremely painful" to key in payment information on "tiny" tablet and smartphone screens.

"Consumers here have embraced a highly digital lifestyle, and will enjoy even greater convenience, accessibility and safety with the availability of MasterPass in Singapore," said Ms Loh.

The wallet is open, which means that, besides MasterCard, consumers can use other branded credit, debit and prepaid cards, such as Visa or American Express.

Currently, DBS Bank, Maybank and OCBC Bank have gone "live" with the platform in Singapore, with CIMB Bank planning to offer the service soon.

More than 250 merchants in Singapore, including Shaw Theatres, Singapore Airlines, Sistic, online travel agency Zuji and online retailer for beauty products Luxola, accept MasterPass.

Launched in February last year, MasterPass is accepted by more than 40,000 merchants worldwide and is available in the United States, Australia, Italy and China.

For Luxola's chief operating officer, Ronan Hurley, MasterPass has come at the right time for the company.

"Customers have asked us to store their credit card details for them, so MasterPass is a nice complement for this service. People can store whatever credit card they have in their (digital) wallet, and just check out in a few clicks now," said Mr Hurley.

Senior account manager Cynthia Lo is one consumer who said she would sign up for MasterPass, as long as she was assured that her data would not be compromised.

"MasterPass sounds pretty hassle-free and could take online shopping to a new level. My only concern is data security," said the 35-year-old, who is a regular online shopper.

David Chan, senior vice-president and group head of market development at MasterCard South-east Asia, said that when it came to security, "MasterCard has a number of layers of security...and we have industry standards like Payment Card Industry (PCI), which we are fully compliant with."

He added that as the consumer would key in personal data just once via MasterPass, "this meant that the data was not floating around online".

In the future, MasterPass will support the use of different technologies, such as Near Field Communication, QR codes and mobile tags, for in-store purchases.

The in-store function will be "piloted in Singapore in the second half of the year", said Mr Chan.

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