MasterCard To Kill The Masterpass App: Here Is Our Obituary

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MasterCard have sent out an announcement to customers informing them of the impending demise of the MasterPass App. Although their communication does not clarify what will happen to this service killing the app will in essence spell doom for the service.

Here is a copy of the email they send out the customers:


You are receiving this message because you are currently registered for the Masterpass by Mastercard™ mobile application.

The Masterpass experience is evolving in 2019, making way for a new and improved checkout experience. As part of this evolution, we will be discontinuing the Masterpass by Mastercard™ application on April 10th, 2019. No action is required from you at this time, and you can continue using your Masterpass by Mastercard™ web experience until further notice.
If you enjoyed the ease and convenience of “tap-and-pay” on the Masterpass mobile application, don’t worry – we’ve got more ways for you to pay:
1. Contact your bank or credit union about their contactless/”tap-and-pay” offerings.
2. Enroll in any of Mastercard’s supported digital wallets.
Should you have any questions, please contact Masterpass Support by calling toll-free at 1-888-327-2943.

Thank you for using Masterpass by Mastercard™.

What is MasterPass?

Ecobank MasterPass QR

Image for YouTube video with title Ecobank MasterPass QR viewable on the following URL

Locally Ecobank were local proponents of MasterPass. MasterPass involved you downloading the app, entering your eer MasterCard details into the app. During checkout you could just scan the merchant’s QR code, enter the amount owing and complete payment.

What were the advantages of MasterPass?

Ecobank Masterpass QR

Image for YouTube video with title Ecobank Masterpass QR viewable on the following URL

The above video captures it all. With MasterPass there was really no need for swipe machines. All merchants would need was a card with a QR code. This would make it a cheaper system to operate. Here is the problem though. MasterCard does not have a lot of customers because more often than not the system involves Nostro accounts and what not.

In fact one of the reasons why MasterPass failed was because it was an attempt to transplant an developed country concept and graft it into Africa’s mobile phone dominated world. This that this field is already crowded. Who needs a QR code when they already have a merchant code?

Services like MPESA and Ecocash already do a great job of servicing the un-banked and those with lite bank accounts. MasterPass was like a poor man’s NFC something we did not really need. Visa Checkout and PayPal’s One Touch are equally irrelevant on this continent.Add to that pile of stumbling blocks, forex shortages in Zimbabwe meant that MasterPass never got the visibility it deserved.

RIP MasterPass, you will not be missed.

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