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RealTime IT News

MasterCard Launches Electronic Wallet Service

MasterCard International launched the MasterCard e-wallet -- an electronic wallet service designed to simplify online shopping.

The new e-wallet service will be promoted in a national television commercial to be aired today during NBC's coverage of the 2000 Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

MasterCard said the e-wallet allows cardholders to enter and store their MasterCard credit card account number, as well as their shipping and billing addresses, once. The wallet can then be used to automatically complete order forms with a single click at more than 1,400 online stores.

The MasterCard e-wallet, provided by Brodia (financial arrangements between the companies were not disclosed), offers password management, product research and price comparisons, automatic form fill and transaction record maintenance.

MasterCard said its e-wallet also gives consumers the ability to block unwanted e-mail and to receive only the types of offers that match their interests. The service also provides a directory listing thousands of merchants and service providers by category and allows consumers to create their own collection of favorite stores.

Sign-ups for the MasterCard e-wallet are free at the company's Web site. In addition to the MasterCard e-wallet, consumers who visit mastercard.com will also have the ability to access electronic wallets offered by a number of MasterCard member banks.

"Shopping online is largely about speed and convenience, but often consumers are left frustrated by the final step -- completing the purchase order form," said Larry Flanagan, senior vice president, North America marketing at MasterCard.

"Research indicates that many online users abandon the checkout form prior to completing the transaction, in part due to the redundancy of providing the information each time they make a purchase. As 'the best way to pay,' MasterCard is addressing this issue by offering cardholders a solution."

MasterCard said its recent research shows that nearly 63 percent of online users have abandoned the checkout form prior to completing a transaction at least once in a three-month period and 38 percent claimed it simply took too long to complete a purchase.

Brodia markets the technology and infrastructure needed to deliver the online form of the payment card, enabling simplified personal commerce from any Internet-connected device. The company has partnerships with financial institutions that represent more than 100 million credit card and online banking customers.