The program is being launched under the newly-created MasterCard Labs. A new developer portal will also be formed for developers to sign up for access to all of the Open APIs that MasterCard makes available.
Through the portal, MasterCard will provide developers with technical documentation, software development kits (SDKs), sample source code, reference guides and “virtual sandboxes” for testing new applications. The portal will also host a developer forum to encourage collaboration between MasterCard engineers and outside developers.
“We are excited about tapping into the ingenuity of software developers around the globe to help create the next generation of game-changing payment applications,” said Josh Peirez, Chief Innovation Officer, MasterCard Worldwide, in a statement. “We feel this will unleash innovation within our industry especially in the burgeoning areas of e-commerce and mobile payments.”
In addition to payments, there are about 20 platforms and services MasterCard said it has identified and plans to open up to developers via the portal. These platforms and services provide additional functionality and enhancements to MasterCard’s payment capabilities.
The Open APIs will further complement the development of new applications and systems beyond what is currently available, company officials said, including CRMs, ERPs, online games, merchant e-commerce web sites, eWallets, mobile applications, and payroll systems.
MasterCard payment and data services also could be integrated with other data sources and functions to create “mashups” – new applications that are a result of combining multiple data sources.
“Over the past few years, we have used some of our Open APIs internally to create groundbreaking new iPhone applications, such as MasterCard ATM Hunter and MasterCard Easy Savings,” said Garry Lyons, group executive, research and development, MasterCard Worldwide. “Opening these and other APIs to the global development community … will provide developers [with] the opportunity to leverage MasterCard’s leading payment platforms,” so they can come up with new ideas that may not have been previously considered or thought possible.
Last year MasterCard introduced MoneySend, a payment service that enables users to do person-to-person transfers with their cell phones or smartphones.
Rival Visa piloted a mobile banking program in 2008.
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