MasterCard Leaps into Internet of Things with Two New Deals

mc_groceries_samsungMasterCard is bringing payments to the Internet of Things with partnerships with Samsung, which makes a smart refrigerator, and Coin — yes, that Coin.

MasterCard’s IoT deals portend what we expect will be an extremely active year in Internet of Things for fintech.

The Samsung partnership is called Groceries by MasterCard and is linked to Samsung’s smart fridge, which basically has an Android tablet built into the door. (TechCrunch pointed out this tablet will be obsolete in a few years, while fridges typically last much longer.)

So you notice you’re out of milk, find it on the tablet, and order some up — what could go wrong? Shopping lists are approved with a four digit PIN that must be carefully concealed from children and changed frequently. FreshDirect, ShopRite and MyWebGrocer are partners.

The Groceries app also learns a family’s habits, and so makes recommendations — this is what makes it a “smart” fridge.

MasterCard’s other partnership announced yesterday at the Consumer Electronics Show was with Coin, known for its all-in-one payment card. Coin ran into trouble early on, delaying the fulfillment of orders and stirring up anger in its community of supporters through poor communication. Last month’s Stratos card failure seemed to be another sign of danger for Coin, but the company, led by CEO Kanishk Parashar, has performed an admirable pivot by moving into payments for wearables.

Mastercard is calling this partnership Commerce for Every Device. It is part of a slew of partnerships begun at Money20/20 in the fall of 2015.

“The great thing about the MasterCard program is that we are adding payment functionality to items that consumers are already using – fitness bands, jewelry, clothing, watches,” said Sherri Haymond, senior vice president of digital payments for MasterCard in a press release. “This makes the products more useful for consumers and enhances the value device manufacturers can deliver to their customers. Coin complements that approach and enables us to reach an expanded set of device partners.”

Apparently Coin’s work in stuffing all that technology onto a small form factor has paid off. MasterCard’s leadership in payments innovation shows just how dominant the networks are in payments today.

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