Mastercard’s New App Demos Benefits in Augmented Reality

Using AR to interact with branded portals, Mastercard holders can tap on virtual items such as golf clubs and see what kinds of benefits they can unlock.

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Need to Know 

  • Mastercard unveiled an augmented reality (AR) app that allows customers to see, explore, and access their Mastercard benefits in an industry first, 360-degree virtual environment. 
  • By using their phone to scan areas around them, cardholders unlock portals representing categories of Mastercard benefits: Experiences, Everyday Value, and Peace of Mind.  
  • Mastercard is the first in the financial sector to use technology in this manner to solve communication problems and increase cardholder awareness. 

Analysis

Mastercard’s new AR-powered app takes its cardholder payment journey to new heights to excite and inform users. According to a J.D. Power 2018 Study, only a third of credit card holders fully understand all the benefits available to them, and Mastercard is planning to change that. 

“At Mastercard, we’re using our technology and solutions to deliver multi-sensory experiences for consumers every day–whether they’re shopping, taking transit, or exploring the card benefits they care about,” Raja Rajamannar, chief marketing and communications officer at Mastercard said in a press release. “By leveraging an intuitive AR design, cardholders can now easily find and fully explore their benefits that otherwise might have been overlooked.”

Mastercard’s immersive experience begins when cardholders scan their Mastercard using an in-app function. Users then scan the area around them, revealing three “portals,” each representing a category that Mastercard benefits fall into Experiences, Everyday Value, and Peace of Mind. Cardholders then tap the portal to explore the benefit and associated 360-degree, fully immersive experience. 

Once inside the virtual room, cardholders are able to click on items to learn more about the related benefit. For example, tapping on a set of golf clubs prompts a pop-up screen where users learn about and access their Priceless Golf benefits.

Rewards continue to drive consumer satisfaction with credit cards. The 2018 TSYS US Consumer Payment Study noted that 79% of cardholders named rewards as the most attractive feature of their preferred card. Mastercard’s AR experience takes a rather dull but lucrative category and brings it to life for its digital-first cardholders, setting the bar high for others to follow. 

This isn’t the first time Mastercard dipped its toe in the AR pond. Back in 2017 they partnered with Qualcomm, and Osterhout Design Group and debuted a prototype for smart glasses that used iris authentication to enable AR shopping. 

Mastercard’s app will launch in the second quarter of 2020 for iPhone users, with additional devices and regions slated for later in the year.

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