The True North Goes Digital

NEW YORK (MainStreet)—One of the world's largest credit card companies is trying to make paying easier — starting in the Great White North. "Canadians are early adopters when it comes to digital payments and embracing new technologies; that's why Canada is the first market in North America where we're launching MasterPass," said Jason Davies, MasterCard Canada's vice president of e-commerce.

Also see: MasterPass, Digital Wallet Solutions at Your Fingertips

Though MasterPass has expanded to the U.S. (with Living Social here a major player in the MasterPass roster) the Canadian launch may elucidate many of the obstacles the digital wallet faces stateside.


MasterPass is the latest entry into the battle for digital wallet supremacy, and another effort by one of the titans of the credit industry to elbow their way into what is getting to be a crowded marketplace dominated by more traditional tech companies.

A recent study by marketing and analytics company comScore showed while 72% of people were aware of PayPal's wallet and 41% had heard of the Google Wallet, only 13% and 8% had heard of MasterCard's and Visa's digital offerings, respectively. MasterCard said earlier this year it plans a new fee for digital wallet operators — such as PayPal — that allow customers to use MasterCard cards starting in June.

Last October, Visa introduced its digital wallet product in both the U.S. and Canada — called The application currently is set up to work with about 40 U.S. retailers.

Also see: The True Secret to the Digital Wallet May Be In Your Other Pocket

Ann-Marie McIntosh, with Visa, said the company's entry into the digital wallet market is important for both giving customers another way to pay and supporting merchants who are trying to adapt for those customers. She added Visa continues to see double digit growth in its e-commerce transactions.