MasterCard, Inc. Acquires Mobile Transaction Technology Provider as It Rolls Out New Technology

MasterCard (NYSE: MA  ) announced two moves today at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, that further expand its presence in the mobile payment industry. MasterCard announced it has acquired C-SAM, a provider of software and services for mobile payment services. It also revealed the rollout of its MasterPass In-App payments technology, which is used for purchases across different providers through a single mobile application.

"Consumers today are living digital lifestyles, shopping in new ways using a range of new products and devices. Bringing C-SAM's mobile expertise into MasterCard will help us launch a wider range of mobile and virtual solutions better and faster -- bringing convenience and choice to consumers, while adding value to our expanding partnerships with telcos, governments and merchants," said MasterCard Chief Emerging Payments Officer Ed McLaughlin in a statement.

C-SAM has been used for commercial mobile payment functionality and services in six countries, and helps retailers and companies make secure payments while also providing loyalty programs and customer-specific offers.

MasterCard began a partnership with C-SAM in December 2012, and it also had a minority investment in the emerging technology company. It noted the acquisition of C-SAM will allow it to "speed the development and deployment of mobile wallets and payment solutions globally, including the rollout of its MasterPass digital service."

The terms of the agreement with C-SAM were not disclosed, but MasterCard did note that following regulatory approval, it expects the acquisition to be completed in the first quarter of this year.

"The acquisition of C-SAM is a significant milestone in our company's history," added C-SAM CEO Felix Marx. "While we have enjoyed a strong, long-standing relationship with MasterCard, the team is excited to be formally joining such an innovative and industry-leading organization to deliver end-to-end device-based solutions for service providers around the globe."

With the acquisition of C-SAM, MasterCard will also be releasing MasterPass in the second quarter of this year. MasterPass will be an app used to allow customers to have a single digital access point that will allow them to make payments at merchants. The company notes the technology is an "optimized checkout process" that "creates a seamless shopping experience, supported by the highest levels of security and cryptology."

MasterCard said ABI Research expects total mobile payments to reach more than $46 billion by 2016, five times more than the $8.5 billion seen in 2011. In addition, MasterCard highlighted it has already come to terms with Forbes Digital Commerce, MLB Advanced Media, Starbucks Australia, and others to allow for MasterPass to power in-app purchases.

"We're creating great experiences for consumers across all channels and all devices, and enabling merchants to reach new consumers in ways not possible in the pre-digital world," McLaughlin concluded. "We're also developing a framework to make all payments using MasterPass as or more secure than anything we can do on cards today, ensuring that consumers can benefit from the highest possible levels of security."


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Patrick Morris

After a few stints in banking and corporate finance, Patrick joined the Motley Fool as a writer covering the financial sector. He's scaled back his everyday writing a bit, but he's always happy to opine on the latest headline news surrounding Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett and all things personal finance.

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