Tech tour at MasterCard NYC Tech Hub

When Mastercard says that it sees the Internet of Things trend as an opportunity to turn every device into a secured payments gateway, it’s not kidding. Just take a tour of its Tech Hub in New York City to see that from gas pumps to humanoid robots, Mastercard is looking way beyond the card when it comes to how we’ll engage in commerce in the future. Click through this slideshow to take the tour along with Debbie Barta, senior vice-president of innovation channel management at Mastercard.

Developer Services

On its immersive curved display, Mastercard is demonstrating its Retail Location Insights service, which provides metrics on the performance of its merchant retail locations aided by a custom Google Maps integration. Simplify Commerce, seen here, is Mastercard’s service to help smaller businesses accept a variety of payment types.

Pizza payments pilot with Pepper 

Mastercard has the first commerce application that works with SoftBank Robotics’ Pepper. Using the Masterpass digital wallet, a customer can complete a transaction by scanning a QR code on Pepper’s tablet display. Pizza Hut Asia ran a pilot with the technology in 2016. Or as we’d like to put it, “Pizza Hut piloted payments with Pepper’s people.”

No change? No problem

Mastercard worked with PayRange to incorporate its Masterpass digital wallet as a payment method at vending machines. PayRange has a Bluetooth dongle that could turn any coin-based payment mechanism into a digital payment point.

We’ve all paid at the pump by now, either by tapping a NFC-enabled credit card to the terminal or inserting it with the chip & PIN system. But Mastercard wants to take that a step further, with disabled people who are looking to pay at the pump in mind. Again, an in-app payment using Masterpass is involved here.

Feeling hungry?

Samsung’s connected fridge that shows you the contents of your fridge without the need to open the door seems futuristic enough, but what if you could actually order and pay for your groceries without even having to open your fridge? Mastercard is on the case.

Getting chatty

Mastercard announced at the Facebook Developer Conference that it will be supporting payments through chat bot technology on Facebook Messenger. It will be working with Subway, for example, on a chat bot that mirrors the in-person conversation you’d have with a Sandwich Artist at a restaurant. Subway is supporting the chat bot from 26,500 stores across the U.S.

In East Africa, Mastercard is providing a digital platform, 2KUZE, that helps smallholder farmers buy and sell agricultural goods using feature phones. Developed by the Nairobi-based Mastercard Lab for Financial Inclusion, one way the street markets’ economy is made more efficient is with these weigh-scale POS terminals.


Previous article20 top Canadian tech brands of the past and future
Next articleTop 10 digital transformation projects of Canada’s top employers
Brian Jackson
Former editorial director of IT World Canada. Current research director at Info-Tech