Mastercard leads mFoundry investment

Mastercard has led a funding round for mobile payments firm, mFoundry, marking the credit card company’s first investment in the space. Mastercard is seeking to develop NFC opportunities with the mobile banking firm using its PayPass technology. Together, Mastercard and mFoundry will enable businesses that use the latter’s technology for mobile banking to support NFC-based payments using PayPass. Mastercard’s investment follows similar moves from rivals including Visa, which made a strategic investment in Square in April. Intel Capital, FIS and Motorola Mobility also participated in mFoundry’s round, the details of which were not disclosed.

By linking with mFoundry, Mastercard is attempting to further the reach of NFC, which is widely regarded as being in pole position to become the mobile payments standard. Mastercard already powers Google’s mobile wallet service, Google Wallet, and will be seeking to help push other mobile payments into the mainstream. As well as powering solutions for more than 500 banks, mFoundry creates a host of mobile payments platforms for firms, such as Starbucks’ Card Mobile service, and the retailer recently announced that it has processed 20m mobile transactions this year. mFoundry says it plans to integrate NFC capabilities in its apps during the first half of 2012. Overall, Juniper Research predicts that NFC technology will power an estimated USD50bn worth of transactions.

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