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Mastercard drives digital payment transformation at with Masterpass and opens a new LaaS in Toronto

Mastercard drives digital payment transformation at with Masterpass and opens a new LaaS in Toronto 

Anderson made that statement in speaking to a group of Canadian tech writers last week at the Mastercard Tech Hub office in New York City.

An example of this is, five years ago the buzz was about the emergence of digital payment and a full adoption of this new payment system. That didn’t happen as fast as many envisioned but rather took a longer time than expected. Today, this digital conversion is still ongoing but cards are not going away. As a matter of fact, Mastercard predicted that by 2023, almost half of transactions will be initiated from something other than cards. Over time cards will lose share to in app, online and contactless payment options but will still continue on into the unforeseeable future.

Even though the digital payment transformation is not occurring at a rate that most would expect, Mastercard has been working on a few initiatives that are driving this process along.

One such project is Masterpass, which was introduced in 2013 as the “future of digital payment”. Built on the concept of simply taking the embossed number on a card and transforming it into a digital context to enhance a user’s shopping experience by click, tap or touch. This feature is easy to use and negate the hassle of completing long payment forms or dealing with multiple password issues. Over the years since its launch, this wallet program has grown significantly due to the fact that it is offered by Mastercard’s bank partners, the providers that people trust most with their financial matters.

To make use of Masterpass is really simple, just create an account and add your debit or credit card and you are all set to make your purchases through the Masterpass button on websites or through an app. There is no need to worry about your payment information as Masterpass keeps it together with your shipping information in one secure place and ensures that the information stays protected.

Added to that security is another layer called tokenization. Tokenization is a method where the payment card information used to make a purchase is replaced with a unique alphanumeric identifier or token. So instead of providing your credit card information or account number, a token or randomized number is generated for each transaction that has no value and is sent to the merchant while the actual number is stored securely by the bank or payment processor. The obvious advantage of this method is that if a breach of the merchant’s system was to occur, then there will be no personal information that will be at risk.

Given the multiple layers of security provided by Mastercard and banks, and that most people are comfortable using a digital wallet issued by their bank rather than another provider, Masterpass is growing globally. Canada, of course, is no exception.

Mastercard announced last week that Masterpass will be coming to in a few weeks. Back in 2014, Mastercard was selected as the exclusively accepted credit network for Costco Wholesale Canada with the introduction of the Capital One Mastercard for Costco members.

“With Masterpass available at, members get the checkout experience they have come to expect with Masterpass, plus the excellent offers available from Costco,” said Iain McLean, Senior Vice President, Canada Market Development at Mastercard.

Costco is joining other Canadian online merchants like Air Canada, Lowes, Joe Fresh, Pizza Pizza, Indigo, Landmark Cinemas, Roots and London Drugs in offering fast, easy and secure digital payment with Masterpass.

If you are interested in setting up your Masterpass account, go to

Another initiative that Mastercard has been working on is Labs as a Service (LaaS). Mastercard announced last week that they have launched a new LaaS division at its Canadian headquarters in Toronto to provide innovation consulting services and support to help Canadian clients grow their business.

“Labs as a Service bundles all of our programs together to offer customized solutions to our partners,” said Debbie Barta, SVP, Innovation Channel Management and Startup Engagement, Global at Mastercard.

Barta indicated that they have a number of feedback from their customers in Canada that are looking to drive innovation faster and more efficiently. That is where Mastercard’s LaaS comes into play by providing the resources and expertise to deliver customized innovation programs, products and support, designed to address specific product or innovation culture challenges.

Mastercard Labs as a Service offerings include:

  • LaunchPad: A five-day rapid prototyping, rapid design service
  • Aspire: A proprietary idea capture platform for employees
  • IdeaBox: A product kit that helps employees bring ideas to life
  • Experience Design: User interface/user experience design services & customer testing
  • Pilot development and product build out service

“Labs as a Service combines Mastercard’s strength in R&D and deep services expertise to deliver cost effective, customized programs that help clients take their innovations from concept to market faster,” said Jeremy Bornstein, Senior Vice President and Market Lead of Advisors for Mastercard in Canada.


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