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Mastercard Expands to Android and Samsung Pay, Wearables, Chatbots

Alex Spencer

MastercardMastercard has partnered with Google, Samsung and Microsoft to integrate Masterpass into their mobile payment services.

Starting early next year in the US, Mastercard customers that use Android Pay, Samsung Pay or Microsoft Wallet will be use these services to make payments online, at any merchant site that currently accepts Masterpass. The service is currently available in 33 markets, with another two planned by the end of the year – presumably this integration will follow suit and roll out globally.

The card provider has also signed a deal with Fit Pay, a platform for wearable payments.

The partnership will integrate Fit Pay's platform with the Mastercard Digital Enablement Service to bring Mastercard contactless payments to a variety of wearables and Internet of Things devices. The first hardware partner is Wearetec, which produces connected watch clasps to bring smart functionality to traditional luxury watches.

Finally, Mastercard announced its to launch AI chatbots to enable consumers to transact and manage their finances via messaging platforms.

There will be bots for both banks and merchants. The former, Mastercard KAI, will enable users to ask natural-language questions about account balance, purchase history and spending levels, and receive offers from Mastercard Priceless. KAI has been developed in partnership with Kasisto – part of the Mastercard Start Path Global program – and is being piloted on Facebook Messenger currently, with a full US launch planned for early 2017.

The bot for merchants, meanwhile, has been created in-house, by Mastercard Labs. The bot promises to make it possible for customers to complete a transaction 'without opening their wallets, visiting the merchant’s app or waiting in line'.

Mastercard will open up its Bot Commerce API for merchant testing later this year, through its Mastercard Developers platform.