Under the agreement, MasterCard’s offerings will be integrated into Oracle’s POS software, giving digital payments services greater scale and support across the world
The collaboration between MasterCard and Oracle as its cloud services provider was announced at the annual Mobile World Congress (MWC) in February 2017. The objective of this partnership is to provide seamless payments by using MasterCard’s existing Qkr! Masterpass mobile app initially, and then scaling its functionalities to go beyond mobile payments or pay via cheque at a restaurant. Furthermore, the partnership is also expected to gain from Oracle’s acquisition of Micros.
Micros, a provider of integrated software and hardware solutions to the hospitality and retail sectors, was acquired by Oracle for US$5.3 billion in 2014, to allow it to expand into the retail and hospitality sectors, specifically in the food service industry. As a result, both MasterCard and Oracle see this as a potential moment to tie Masterpass with Oracle to provide a seamless check-out experience across different channels apart from improving operational efficiencies.
The MasterCard-Oracle partnership is an extension of its existing collaboration with Oracle in the UK: the two partners are already engaged in similar projects in the UK that aim at improving operational efficiencies and expanding payment solutions across multiple channels.
The extension of the partnership on cloud with Oracle is well-timed, given MasterCard’s plans to expand its app, Qkr! with Masterpass, to six new markets namely Brazil, the US, Canada, Ireland, Singapore, and South Africa by the end of 2017. Qkr! was developed for restaurants, but has expanded since to gas stations and other retail areas as well.
As a result, currently customers can pay not just for food and goods, but also for gas and parking fees with the Qkr platform. The expansion will also result in the removal of the traditional ‘open tab’ feature at a bar or restaurant and use Qkr! instead to open a tab, and pay without using a physical card.
Whether a drastic change or a natural evolution, MasterCard’s initiatives are indicative of the fact that the provider is looking to build more solutions, rather than merely making mobile payments more attractive for the customers. For example, the Mastercard Payment Gateway Services is quite secure, and provides fully-integrated digital payment and fraud prevention to retailers. This could play a big role in this partnership, and provide Oracle with a much needed opportunity to recuperate from its point of sale (POS) payment portal hack last year.
Moreover, the alliance also allows Oracle the possibility to focus on new opportunities rather than concentrating on legacy hardware and infrastructure sales.
Mastercard’s entry into new markets with its Qkr platform is indicative not only of its expanding footprint, or the growing preference of mobile payments among customers, but an effort to step into the digital payments landscape. The credit card provider had already positioned itself well last year, by expanding its Masterpass contactless mobile payment service to support in-store POS systems, and by partnering with Google to enable mobile payments via Android Pay for online merchants. The partners believe that their joint initiatives will help retailers and hospitality providers connect with their customers in more engaging ways, and also enable their businesses to grow with speed, scale, and security.