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MasterCard, Kalixa Group, DeviceFidelity partner for mobile wallet initiative

MasterCard, Kalixa Group and DeviceFidelity are all working to launch the moneto mobile wallet in Britain to streamline mobile payments for consumers.

Moneto enables near-field communications on iPhone 4 and 4s  devices and lets users tap and pay for products at any merchant that accepts MasterCard. Consumers slip their iPhones into a case to transform their phone into an NFC-enabled device.

“The way we look at it is we believe that every time there is a new payment method, when it went from cash to check to credit, there is an education that needs to happen for the consumer to get comfortable with the technology, and our approach is in order to ease the access to new technology to offer a set of services that makes the user more comfortable using the new technology,” said Youri Bebic, general manager of NFC prepaid services at DeviceFidelity, Richardson, TX.

“For example in our wallet, we also have the ability for the user to send money to one another directly from their phone,” he said. “This is an extra service that comes with the wallet.”

Mobile payment
Moneto lets users access account information on the go, check their balance in real-time, locate merchants and ATMs and make wallet-to-wallet transactions.

The mobile wallet is prepaid, so users control how much money is loaded onto the wallet. It is accepted wherever there is a MasterCard PayPass logo or the NFC contactless acceptance symbol.

To reduce the risk of unauthorized payments, users must activate the wallet with a PIN number to make a payment. Users can choose to secure the wallet with the option of requiring a PIN for every payment, or they can choose to authorize it once at the start.

Since iPhones are not NFC-enabled, moneto had to be creative with its application.

To use the moneto application, consumers slide their phone into a case before tapping their phone against the POS. The moneto app communicates with the case, and the case passes the payment credential to the payment terminal.

The companies plan to roll out the mobile wallet for Android and iPhone 5 in the near future. They also plan on expanding to other European countries in the coming months.

Global moneto
After launching in the United States seven months ago, moneto saw much success, per Mr. Bebic.

According to Mr. Bebic, moneto’s subscriber base is growing by 50 percent per month in the U.S.

After seeing that public transportation was the sector that got the most use out of moneto, the companies decided to expand to Britain, where public transportation is widespread and popular.

“One of the reasons we chose the U.K. is because of transportation,” Mr. Bebic said.

“If you use public transportation to get to work, that allows you two times a day to use your mobile wallet,” he said.

“Eventually the usage will grow as merchant acceptance is also being deployed. We strongly believe that NFC is on a growth path, that an initiative like ours will just help push for the adoption of NFC technology.”

Final Take
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York