Calling BS on MasterPass Adoption

I read with interest a release about Fifth Third Bank promoting its MasterPass engagement. One statement stood out:

Fifth Third customers that use Android devices will be the first to use this service at more than one million contactless payment systems in the U.S. Fifth Third MasterPass is also accepted at hundreds of thousands of merchants for online and in-app payments. (Bold my own)

I tracked this back to MasterCard’s announcement on MasterPass here.

Let’s not beat about the bush here. Being polite, that is a gross over-exaggeration of MasterPass adoption. I have argued before on the adoption of Apple Pay being hampered by the lack of e-commerce merchant value and engagement (here).


After reading the release, I went to the MasterCard MasterPass site to see if I could find these “hundreds of thousands of merchants”. MasterCard conveniently offers a store search functionality of sites with MasterPass: I love the use of ‘shopnow’.

Here are the results of that page:

And if the results aren’t clear enough, let me draw your attention to the figures:

Not Enough?

Let’s have a look at the top ten shopping sites according to

  2. Ebay
  3. Netflix
  5. Walmart
  6. Etsy
  7. Steam Powered
  8. ikea
  9. Home Depot
  10. Target

Of the top ten, how many do you think have MasterPass integrated?

If you guessed ZERO you would be correct. You would expect that of the “hundreds of thousands of merchants”, you would have at least one of the top 10 e-commerce merchants.

Calling foul or BS

The question I have is: are we just calling foul or is this genuine BS?

Even if we assume that MasterCard isn’t the most nimble when it comes to updating its site with new stores, that doesn’t account for the missing hundreds of thousands of stores. And given the questions about adoption of MasterPass by merchants, surely MasterCard would be faster at updating this key marketing message.

Oh, and before someone points out that the URL ending /en-us means there are local versions, when you change it to /en-uk you get the same list. The /en-au list is slightly different (with some overlap), and only a total of 52 results. That’s not going to get us to the hundreds of thousands.

Let’s do some math:

  • to claim “hundreds of thousands of merchants”, you need at least 200,000 merchants
  • 389 of 200,000 represents 0.19%

Coming back to the key question of whether this is a foul or something more, I think the numbers speak for themselves.

I lost an hour finding this:

So what?

We at Onefill absolutely get why Fifth Third is trumpeting its digital wallet: it wants its customers to have a seamless experience wherever they want to shop online and spend money. It’s crucial that banks develop their own digital wallets, or risk losing out in the last mile of payments.

There is only one solution that offers customers thousands (or tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands) of online stores. It’s Onefill.

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