Mastercard and Verizon Business have teamed up to drive the expansion of 5G technology in the global payments industry. In a joint statement, the companies said the strategic partnership will have each compant working “closely to innovate the future of payments and commerce.”
Specific terms of the partnership were not disclosed, but the companies said the deal would aim “to deliver solutions such as immersive retail technology, compelling point-of-sale experiences and digital capabilities for small and medium businesses.”
The announcement comes as retailers welcome more shoppers into stores, and online shopping continues to see robust growth. In the U.S. major brands and merchants are prepping for a back-to-school shopping season that is expected to see double-digit gains. And there is growing optimism for the fourth-quarter holiday shopping season.
But behaviors adopted by consumers during the pandemic are likely to remain for some time. BOPIS and curbside pickup remain popular as do contactless payments — which this partnership addresses. “From contactless shopping and autonomous checkout technology to Cloud Point of Sale solutions, Mastercard and Verizon Business will collaborate to deliver scalable innovations that drive the industry forward and create new experiences for consumers and businesses alike,” the companies said in their statement.
“For retailers, the primary use cases focus on unlocking the types of retail experiences that customers are looking for in today’s climate,” noted a spokesperson for the companies. “These include leveraging Verizon 5G to accelerate contactless payments at scale and making it easier for retailers to enable autonomous checkout in-store.”
The companies also said they will work closely “to unlock Internet of Things sensor connectivity with near real-time edge computing to power the fintech, payments and banking industries, in addition to working to arm SMBs with hyper-automated and immersive commerce experiences.” This includes enabling smartphones and other connected devices to “seamlessly accept payment.” Other deliverables include offering more touchless retail shopping experiences where Verizon 5G and Mobile Edge Computing “will be integrated with Mastercard’s retail technology solutions to reduce hardware requirements for autonomous checkout in-store, with a goal of faster deployments and new use cases, such as mobile updates, voice and video ordering and more.”
Other integrations are also expected from the partnership, including a better billing experience for Verizon customers.
Sampath Sowmyanarayan, chief revenue officer at Verizon Business, explained the impetus behind creating the partnership with Mastercard by noting that “business needs and consumer demands constantly fluctuate. Critical components of long-term success are the ability to remain agile and align with strategic financial and payments partners that have the tools and capabilities to drive industries forward.
“Coupling Verizon’s leading global IP network and transformative 5G technology with Mastercard’s deep industry expertise, leading services and solutions, and a strong commitment to innovate is a partnership that aligns perfectly with what we are striving to achieve at Verizon and one that can create game-changing solutions,” Sowmyanarayan said.
“Emerging technology such as 5G and Mobile Edge Computing will undoubtedly reshape how we interact with each other, making it all the more critical for these exchanges — particularly payments — to be trusted and anticipate further changes,” said Linda Kirkpatrick, president of North America at Mastercard. “Through this collaboration, Mastercard and Verizon’s platforms, which connect billions of consumers, businesses, banks and governments around the world, will be a force in driving transformational change.”