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FreshDirect unpacks MasterPass as food delivery continues mobile shift

Online food grocer FreshDirect is integrating MasterCard’s digital payments platform, MasterPass, into its mobile application and desktop site, underscoring food delivery services’ gradual shift to tap-and-go ordering.

FreshDirect’s customers are now able to leverage in-app payments when placing orders with the company, which offers speedy delivery of supermarket and independent brand food directly to their homes. As the grocery sector continues its mobile-first initiatives in a bid to appeal to time-strapped consumers, FreshDirect will likely see its sale spike following the MasterPass integration.

“FreshDirect’s promise to perfect the shop and deliver experience for its customers aligns with MasterCard’s commitment to ensure a seamless and secure checkout experience,” said Michael Cyr, group executive of U.S. market development at MasterCard. “With MasterPass, consumers can go online, place their order and pay with just a click.

“The burden of entering delivery and billing information is eliminated, further enhancing the quality service FreshDirect provides. In addition to enhancing the checkout experience, MasterCard and FreshDirect have teamed up to provide a compelling incentive for consumers to trial the technology while also delivering unique consumer engagement opportunities.”

Revamping the checkout experience
FreshDirect is aiming to streamline the checkout experience with the addition of MasterPass, likely due to the frustrating and time-consuming processes that sometimes occur at bricks-and-mortar supermarkets. Now, on-the-go customers doing their grocery shopping via mobile or desktop can pay for their orders in just a few clicks.

Consumers must set up a MasterPass account prior to using the service. Account setup can be completed on, or by visiting a participating bank, such as Citibank.

FreshDirect customers may visit its eponymous app or online site to purchase any groceries needed for the upcoming week or month, place desired items in the virtual shopping cart and complete the transaction with a single click.

After users sign in to their MasterPass accounts for the first time, the payments platform will remember their personal details and allow for one-click checkout in the future.

Therefore, busy individuals will not need to pull out their credit card and manually enter payment information for each mobile order. The ability to add staple products, such as milk and eggs, into a shopping cart and purchase them in seconds will likely prompt many consumers to sign up with FreshDirect if they have not yet already.

MasterPass securely stores users’ payment and shipping information. Customers may press the “Buy with MasterPass” button when they are ready to finalize a purchase.

FreshDirect may also snatch some business from bricks-and-mortar supermarkets, especially if consumers find less and less time to visit stores to complete their shopping and stand in long lines during rush hours.

A slew of grocers have been employing mobile to simplify checkout experiences and also serve relevant content and information to in-store shoppers.

Minyard Sun Fresh Market is using a mobile shopper engagement platform to roll out digital weekly circulars, personalized deals, product information and rewards to customers’ smartphones (see story).

Incentivizing hesitant customers
FreshDirect and MasterPass are teaming up to entice new consumers with a seasonal promotion. Now through March 31, customers will receive a $25 deduction off their FreshDirect purchase when they use MasterPass for the first time.

The MasterPass-enabled payment can be completed via the FreshDirect app or

FreshDirect is not the only food marketer that has integrated MasterPass into its mobile offerings.

Burger King’s decision to offer MasterCard’s MasterPass alongside PayPal’s payment options this past summer spoke to its desire to market to Android customers and suggested more quick service marketers will broaden their mobile payment partners rather than rely on a single platform (see story).

Other grocery chains and fast food brands are likely to follow, especially since MasterPass’s iOS and Android-friendly usage means that no mobile user will be discriminated against.

“Time is a precious commodity and with the advent of new technologies, consumers can save time on everyday tasks like grocery shopping,” Mr. Cyr said. “As a result, we’re seeing these services take off in a significant way, and the more convenient the entire experience is for a consumer – from item selection to checkout – the more we’ll see these services grow.”

Final Take
Alex Samuely, staff writer on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York