Mastercard Developers has released several new APIs (application program interfaces) to give merchants and other companies access to more than 40 proprietary products and services to enable payments on new platforms, the company announced Tuesday.
For example, the Masterpass Chatbot API is being used by FreshDirect, Subway and The Cheesecake Factory to create payment-enabling chat bots on Facebook Messenger, Mastercard said. Also, Uber and Lyft are using on-demand payroll services powered by Mastercard Send to help drivers quickly collect pay.
In other news, Mastercard announced at Money20/20 Europe the list of startups that have been selected to join the summer session of the Mastercard Start Path, part of the company’s effort to support later-stage fintech and tech companies shaping the future of commerce.
The mission with these efforts is to allow merchants to support new payment methods "without having to reinvent the wheel,” said Oran Cummins, senior vice president for APIs with Mastercard Developers, in a statement. “By giving them the access they need to explore and build new technologies, we can scale our solutions with greater speed.”
Other new applications include one allowing merchants to accept cashless payments from their customers’ smartphones by scanning a Masterpass QR code. Mastercard has also added to an experimental category within the Mastercard Developers platform that lets merchants test the newest payment technologies and applications as they arrive.
The credit card and payment company's newly announced efforts follow another announcement, that of the Mastercard Start Path class, its ongoing virtual program to support later-stage start-ups. The six startups entering the summer session include Movvo, which provides insights on in-store browsing and shopping patterns; CardUp, which manages monthly credit card payments for big ticket items such as rent or insurance; ftcash, which enables micro-merchants and entrepreneurs to take collateral-free business loans and accept mobile app and messaging-based payments; ModoPayments, which allows the use of loyalty points to pay for everyday goods in-store; ToneTag, which supports contactless payments on any device using sound waves; and RecommenderX, which develops cutting-edge data analytics to offer personalized recommendations.
There are other accelerator programs in the retail sector, some of which focus on earlier stage companies that need some basic business help to get through business and product development. The startups in the Start Path class can get a boost in the market with Mastercard's help, but Mastercard also reaps benefits, with a close-up glimpse at technology innovations that could reshape payments in the near-term future.