Verizon and Mastercard have agreed to partner and offer 5G contactless payments to both consumers and businesses. The new alliance should have some of the innovations up and running by 2023 and enable the companies to digitize retail consumer spending further. Team members from both companies will work together at Mastercard’s New York City Tech Hub location to implement the collaborative 5g project applications.
The project will allow businesses to develop technologies that will transform smartphones into checkout registers or help facilitate touchless retail transactions similar to Amazon’s Go stores. Consumers will also be able to adapt their wearable watches and other wearables into payment devices.
Michael Miebach, CEO of Mastercard, said, “A large retailer can easily do this. A small business, how are they going to do it? That’s exactly what this will bring; 5G allows us to deliver the full experience. For example, I choose an item in a shop, but actually, they don’t have the color I like. So, I’m going to have it sent home, and it is going to be paid once it arrives. All of that is coming together, and we with 5G are enabling this.”
Verizon’s CEO Hans Vestberg added, “5G will enable the small and medium business to handle transactions more quickly and focus on what they are really delivering to customers. You can use 5g to create more frictionless ways of transacting with your customers and focus on your business. That’s, of course, what we see with touchless stores and coming out from Covid. I think we see much more touchless because it’s part of our society today.”
Miebach and Vestberg made the comments in a CNBC interview.
Mastercard estimates that digitized global consumer spending amounts to nearly $50 trillion each year. Some of the other applications that the 5G alliance will explore at the Tech Hub are Mobile Edge Computing and The Internet of Things.
Vestberg added, “We’re bringing the computing and storage of data closer to you as a consumer. That means that you can get hold of a service quicker. It’s going to be more secure because it’s closer to you. Some data has to be very close, some data can be very far away. That can be in any industry, but a very good use is the financial industry because transactions need to be very secure.”
Miebach said he thinks small and medium-sized businesses are where 5G contactless payments will most grow. The added computing power will help grow those businesses.
“As a small business owner, you have to compete in a more digital fashion than ever before. You might have been brick and mortar before. Let’s say you’re at a restaurant, you tried out curbside pickup, and now you want to run the business across both channels. That’s a better experience, but at the same time, it will drive more turnover for the merchant, will drive more turnover for an issuing bank that issues a credit card as well as for us,” Miebach said. “There’s also more reach into new types of payments. In the end, the way I look at it from our businesses, we’re building a long-term market for us to grow into.”