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MasterCard praises mobile payment solutions for empowering consumers, merchants

Ed McLaughlin

At a House Financial Services subcommittee hearing on mobile payments on Thursday, Ed McLaughlin, MasterCard’s chief emerging payments officer, spoke of the importance of mobile payments in a growing technological society.

“Unlike the simple plastic card that has been around for decades, smart phones provide an intelligent device right in the consumer’s hands that the consumer can use to interact with financial services providers and merchants in ways that were never before possible,” McLaughlin said.

McLaughlin also called the use of mobile payment technology beneficial for consumesr in terms of deciding whether or not to make a purchase.

“For example, not only can smart phones provide faster and more convenient ways for consumers to pay, but they can also now enable consumers to access their account information before making a purchase to determine if the transaction is something the consumer can afford,” McLaughlin said. “This type of on-the-go budget tool will make more consumers comfortable using mainstream financial products.”

Approximately 43 million American consumers use mobile financial services and payment tools. McLaughlin said that a recent survey revealed that more than 50 percent of smart phone users have used their phone to make a purchase, and he anticipates that smart phones will eventually represent more than 50 percent of phones on the market.

“For merchants, smart phones provide a convenient channel to engage consumers at multiple levels, such as through an Internet store-front or a Facebook account, so that merchants can be available to consumers in all of the places where consumers want to find them,” McLaughlin said.

McLaughlin also said that prepaid cards, in conjunction with mobile technology, will allow consumers without access to financial services to participate in commerce.

“In short, consumers now have new opportunities to access online commerce, transfer funds, pay bill and more,” McLaughlin said. “Continuing to invest in our networks will ensure that transactions such as these are made in record time and deliver the most efficient benefits to consumers and businesses alike.”

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