Mastercard ushers in digital wallet service to UK

Mastercard has announced the UK rollout of its digital wallet service dubbed MasterPass, with retailers including Argos, Boots, House of Fraser and The Hut Group, as well as credit card provider MBNA, confirmed as launch partners. 


MasterPass lets users upload their payment and loyalty card details to a compatible digital wallet, which can be used on a mobile device in-store or via an online store on their desktop  to make either a payment or redeem loyalty points.

The service is designed to improve the efficiency of payments in bricks and mortar outlets, as well as reduce “basket abandonment” rates on e-commerce sites by automatically providing users’ payment details when they press the MasterPass button.

Users are then asked to authenticate the transaction by using their registered password.

MasterPass’ checkout service will also work with mobile wallets using NFC or QR code technology to let users pay via their mobile phones in-store, according to Mastercard.

Marion King, Mastercard president for UK and Ireland, says MasterPass’ connected wallet service can also be easily integrated into retailers’ existing online payment systems, letting them accept payments via the service.

MasterPass also lets retailers integrate their existing loyalty programmes so they can be accessed via their service.

The announcement comes just weeks after EE, the UK’s largest mobile operator, announced the relaunch of its mobile wallet offering Cash on Tap. Mastercard is also a payments partner with this offering.

Rival Visa also has its own mobile wallet, while Barclays has its Pingit mobile payment service.

The Mastercard announcement also comes shortly after Marketing Week revealed the ambitions of Weve, a joint venture company between the UK’s three largest operators, to introduce a mobile loyalty app that will give users a single point of access to their various store cards on their phones, according to Weve’s marketing director Tony Moretta.  

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here