Weve’s announcement that is has teamed up with MasterCard to provide contactless mobile payments can cut the cost of the process by ‘a factor of ten’.
The m-commerce company, whose shareholders are EE, O2 and Vodafone, will leverage its platform with MasterCard’s relationship with banks and financial services to provide its 22 million opt-in consumers with contactless payments. Weve CEO David Sear and MasterCard president UK and Ireland, Marion King, said the relationship would make contactless payments seamless and cost effective.
Sear said: ‘If you were to try what we’re doing today with all the banks and all the operators, you’d have between thirteen to fifteen players all standing up secure technology to talk to each other. This relationship has actively cut that thirteen to fifteen players down to two.
‘Therefore we estimate the cost of doing mobile payments now is probably reduced by a factor of ten. The whole approach for the deal with MasterCard is to make it, from an operator’s point of view, a low cost.’
King added: ‘From the banks it gives them a single point and simplifies it. It gives them access to marketing and the platform that Weve’s working with. We are doing the heavy lifting, so to speak, and therefore we are lowering the cost significantly with one point of access. The banks are pretty excited by it because through this they have the chance to reach a bigger audience, and the big drive in the market for banks is to become more competitive.’
Because of the customer bases of the three operators, the partnership has the potential to service 80% of the UK. Weve and MasterCard believe there is ‘massive scope for mobile payments’ after a 220% growth in contactless payments across Europe. Sear added that his organisation didn’t want to ‘reinvent the wheel’, but facilitate easier mobile payments with existing hardware. He said retailers would see the proposition as a ‘low cost option’ as most have already invested in the contactless technology needed for Weve’s platform.
Sear added: ‘MasterCard's vision of a world beyond cash maps neatly onto our own vision of a world powered by mobile. Its existing relationships with the banks, in addition to its own experience of the mobile payments world, make it an ideal partner for Weve. It allows the banks to focus on what they're good at – finding smarter and more elegant ways for their customers to pay for goods and services. Contactless payments have already been embraced by UK consumers and retailers, with the UK the most advanced market for adoption of contactless cards with around 300,000 retail outlets now accepting payments in this way. With MasterCard, we want mobile to reach the tapping point.’