Mastercard wants to remove digital payment barriers and make in-store mobile payments more accessible to customers. To that end, Masterpass heralds a new era.

Masterpass is Mastercard's new global digital payment service aiming to pave the way to "the future of commerce," marking a notable industry milestone.

The tool allows consumers to make simple, fast and secure digital payments across various channels and devices, whether they're shopping online, in-store or in-app.

"Mastercard is the first network to deliver an omni-channel, all-digital payment service for consumers, issuers and merchants leveraging the most advanced methods of payment security available today," touts the press release.

The company is joining forces with a number of banks, including Bank of America and Citi, to enable customers to pay using bank apps on their mobile devices. This means that consumers would no longer need to download dedicated apps for in-store mobile payments, which should significantly facilitate the process.

Masterpass was already available for in-app and online purchases, but the addition of in-store payments marks a great step forward. According to Mastercard, consumers will be able to use its digital payments service at more than 5 million in-store locations across 77 countries worldwide.

On the downside, the feature is available only on Android smartphones with built-in NFC chips. Apple's iPhones are not invited to the party because Apple doesn't allow others to use its NFC chip, which enables payments via its own Apple Pay.

With mobile use on the rise, mobile payments are becoming an increasingly popular option to handle purchases more conveniently. Several mobile payments services such as Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Android Pay and more are already gaining momentum and the trend shows no signs of slowing down - on the contrary.

According to media and commerce research firm eMarketer, mobile payments accounted for $8.7 billion in sales last year, and the figure is expected to triple this year.

Merchants that accept contactless payments and will get on board with Masterpass in the following months include JetBlue, the Subway app, the Lord and Taylor website, and The Cheesecake Factory app.

The rollout will commence this month in the United States. Europe, Africa and the Middle East will follow later this year, while other areas will get Masterpass in 2017.

"The expansion of Masterpass represents an important evolution of our business," says Craig Vosburg, president of Mastercard North America. "We're packaging the intelligence and insights generated by digital payment solutions to power a wide range of merchant and consumer experiences."

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