MasterCard-PayPal Deal Echoes Visa’s ‘Exclusive’ One

Last month it was announced that Visa had made a deal with PayPal, which gave PayPal access to payments via Visa cards at the point of sale, and today it’s finally clear why MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga was confused about the supposed “exclusivity” of the deal—because there isn’t any (unless it is contained in marketing deals within the PayPal wallet.)

PayPal announced today that it has made essentially the same deal with MasterCard as it did with Visa, enabling the same type of transactions with PayPal, at the same place: the physical point of sale.

The deal also adds Masterpass functionality to Braintree, an online payments processor owned by PayPal that has its own customer base. Venmo also benefits from the deal, which allows for near-realtime money transfers with MasterCard Send. The Visa contained the same agreement.

According to senior vice president of digital payments for MasterCard, Sherri Haymond, MasterCard and PayPal are “discussing” but not offering this solution online at the moment. MasterCard and PayPal will also be continuing an agreement to provide clear transaction data to MasterCard issuers, something that was new for the Visa partnership but isn’t a new advantage for MasterCard. The network put in place rules in 2011 that require PayPal to provide data to MasterCard issuers.

However, the best new advantage of this deal for consumers may be that Mastercard holders will be able to add a debit card rather than an ACH account. (ACH is the dreaded enemy of the networks, though MC’s VocaLink acquisition hints at aspirations in that area.) ACH is far cheaper than working through the card networks, so PayPal must hope for greatly increased volume with the networks on board.

“The main reason a consumer [would want to add a card] is that this deal enables them to instantly cash out balance in PayPal or Venmo accounts to a MasterDard debit card,” said Haymond, who added that PayPal has yet to integrate this service but that it will be available for users by the start of 2017. “Here ‘instantly’ means 30 minutes or less, where before it could take days for a recipient to receive their money,” Haymond said.

Integrating both Visa and MasterCard offerings with its own payments platform represents a bit of a shift for PayPal, a company begun as an alternative to large payment networks, rather than as an additional option.

The deals with Visa and MasterCard indicate that while PayPal may be shifting its focus, its services remain the same.

“PayPal’s priority was having an omnichannel offering for its users,” said Haymond, adding that this is a vision in line with MasterCard’s goal of providing “a seamless, safe, and secure payment experience for MasterCard users, wherever they need or expect to use their card.”

Currently the deal is only for U.S. issuers of MasterCards, but as its acceptance is global, once issued, the linked debit card will be accepted anywhere contactless payments are accepted, according to Haymond.

This deal also comes at a good time for MasterCard according to its Q2 2016 earnings, where the company saw a 14% increase in both processed transaction volume and earnings per share, as well as a 13% increase in revenue.

To learn more about payments and other fintech trends, join us at Bank Innovation Israel, November 1-3. Register here

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