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MasterCard: There’s no Holy Grail solution for mobile payments

Luke Johnson

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Despite neither service currently being available in the UK, the Apple Pay vs Android Pay rivalry is already being bigged-up.

That’s before the Samsung Pay platform has joined the fray too, showing just how competitively fragmented the mobile payment race is set to become.

According to payments specialist MasterCard, however, this plethora of choices is necessary for the mobile payment movement to become a viable option for the masses.

The payments giant has claimed multiple solutions are needed to appease all users and help the industry grow to the 195 billion mobile commerce transactions predicted to be made annually by 2019.

Discussing the rise of mobile payments at the company’s ‘Future of Payments’ event yesterday, Mike Cowan, Mastercard’s head of emerging payment methods, told us it is not feasible to expect a one solution suits all approach – a la cash or chip & pin bank cards.

“There is no Holy Grail solution here that is going to address everyone’s needs,” he told us.

“Different people have different choices about what devices they use, and how they use their devices.

“Therefore there is no one partnership that is going to enable every consumer to start participation in mobile payments.”

Related: Apple Pay vs Samsung Pay

It’s not just by name that the likes of Apple Pay and Android Pay are different either. Behind the scenes the two services use very different security methods.

“Apple Pay has a device-based secure element,” Cowan explained. “The place where you store the secure elements is physically part of the phone. Android Pay uses a Cloud-based security model.

“The credentials are stored in a secure location that is remote from the phone, but accessible via the phone.”

So, which platform will come out on top? Well, according to MasterCard, none of them – and that’s the point.

“Apple is a really key player. Samsung and Android are also really key players,” Cowan explained.

“A key point here is that there is no one solution.”

It is believed that Apple will announce plans to end Apple Pay’s US exclusivity at WWDC next week, with the mobile payment solution to be brought to further territories later this year.

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