EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 3040 - April 10, 2013     3 of 5

Rakuten Taps MasterPass for New Payment Option

By David A. Utter

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Major credit card name MasterCard continues to make inroads into the digital payments arena. Its MasterPass product, which debuted February 2013, recently became available at Shopping as a payment option.

Customers can select the "Buy with MasterPass" option when checking out at Rakuten. The customer selects their payment and shipping choices, then proceeds to finish the checkout. MasterPass stores these options for customers to use wherever a merchant has MasterPass enabled.

MasterCard has been gradually rolling out MasterPass since its launch date. MasterPass should start seeing more of a presence with U.S. and U.K. ecommerce sites through the spring and summer. Among those brands currently using MasterPass are American Airline,, and Park Avenue Coffee.

One aspect of MasterPass involves allowing for a more convenient way for consumers to make purchases from mobile devices like smartphones or tablets. We reached out to Rakuten regarding this to see if there was any broader mobile strategy in play for their marketplace.

However, Rakuten confirmed the convenience feature of MasterPass on mobiles, but didn't offer any additional commentary on the mobile ecommerce arena. Most recently, Rakuten's CEO did comment about rival Amazon, where Hiroshi Mikitani expressed his belief Rakuten offered a more favorable business model to his firm's marketplace of sellers.

About the author:

David A. Utter is a freelance writer based in Lexington, KY. He has covered technology topics from search to security to online business and has been quoted in places like ZDNet and BusinessWeek. He considers his appearance on NPR's "All Things Considered" with long-time host Robert Siegel a delightful highlight. Send your tips to and find him on Twitter @davidautter and on LinkedIn.

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