Trust was one of the hottest topics at this year’s Mobile World Congress

Trust was one of the hottest topics at this year’s Mobile World Congress
We may earn a commission from links on this page.

The hottest topic amongst business leaders is no longer “transformation” or “disruption”. They want something new: your trust. From hidden fees to high profile data breaches, a company’s trustworthiness is now top of mind for execs and consumers alike. Balancing convenience with safety is tech’s latest battleground, and things kicked up a notch at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Nowhere was this more evident than Mastercard’s stand, which was showing off a number of solutions designed to reduce fraud, increase usability, and give the consumer greater control.

“The goal is to put the consumer in the driving seat and develop a loyalty which transcends the transactional to become something far more personal” explains Jorn Lambert, Mastercard’s executive vice president of Digital Solutions. “Companies need to fundamentally rethink what they should be offering their customers, along with how and when they should do it.”

In tokenization we trust

As you’d expect from a mobile technology trade show, new ways to pay with devices were on display, and many of them make use of tokenization–tech designed to safeguard your payment details and personal information. While the concept is not new, 2019 is the year it’s likely to see widespread adoption by banks and retailers.

A one-time “token” that replaces your details with a string of unidentifiable data, tokenization promises to help reduce fraud and speed up the checkout process. Designed to work across card issuers and backend e-commerce systems, Mastercard’s solution makes deployment easier, as banks don’t need to develop their own systems, and offers more customer control over how they pay–be it with card, a smart activity tracker, or even QR code.

Tokenization is set to benefit both merchants and consumers.
Tokenization is set to benefit both merchants and consumers.

Power to the people

Hand in hand with tokenization comes control of personal data. Long seen as a key element to trust, it forms the backbone of PSD2, the EU’s snappily titled payment services directive. Set to come into force this year, it promises to reduce retail banks’ monopoly on your data and offer new ways to manage who can access it.

Mastercard’s solution is called Consumer Control, and Jason Lane, Mastercard’s executive vice president of Market Development in Europe believes the technology is a game changer.

“Control and choice are the guiding principles of PSD2 and are at the forefront of every product Mastercard deploys. As the world becomes ever more connected, we believe we have a phenomenal opportunity to not just create the solutions that give people access and control that will optimise new technology. We also have the multiple layers of security that will ensure they continue to have ultimate peace of mind.”

A bundle of APIs that allow users direct control of where their card is stored and who has access to it, Consumer Control is designed to work with an existing bank’s app or website. For banks, it reduces development time. For consumers, it offers a single, consolidated view of your personal data.

Cash isn’t dead yet

Of course, not all transactions are digital, which is why the humble ATM has had a makeover. Removing cards from the equation, the Cardless ATM offers greater choice when withdrawing cash, particularly whilst travelling abroad.

Designed to give easier access and greater fee transparency, regardless of currency or the issuing bank, the Cardless ATM moves control from the pin pad to your mobile banking app and offers more information before you enter any details. From exchange rates to withdrawal fees, users can find the best deal before getting to a cash dispenser. Once you’ve found a rate you’re happy with, simply enter the amount you want to withdraw on your app, scan a QR code on the ATM, and boom! Cash money.

According to Mastercard’s Bart Willaert, “85% of the world’s transactions are still being done with cash, and we believe we have an opportunity and obligation to ensure the way people access their cash benefits from the latest and safest innovation.”

Designed to be interoperable between banks, apps, ATMs, and currencies, Mastercard says the Cardless ATM a quick and easy solution for institutions to roll out and consumers to adopt in the coming months.

With all of these solutions ready to deploy, it’s nice to know that while a war of trust rages on in many areas of the mobile industry, at least your money is safe.

Find out more about everything Mastercard announced at MWC 2019 here.