Monday Intel announced a multi-year strategic collaboration with MasterCard that will combine the latter company's PayPass payment system with Intel's Identity Protection Technology (IPT). However the chip giant also revealed that the collaboration will allow users to make online purchases by simply tapping their PayPass-enabled card, tag, or smartphone against an Ultrabook packed with near field communication (NFC) technology.
"Our goal is to enable users of Ultrabook devices and future generations of Intel-based PCs to enjoy the convenience of e-commerce while making online payments safer from malware and hackers with the advanced security capabilities of Intel Identity Protection Technology," said George Thangadurai, general manager of PC Client Services Division, Intel Corporation. "Online commerce is a key focus area for Intel, and through this partnership with MasterCard, we intend to deliver an innovative, personalized and safer e-commerce experience to consumers."
Forrester Research claims that online sales reached $176.2 billion last year in the United States alone and are expected to grow at double-digit percentage rates annually for the next 5 years. The collaboration between Intel and MasterCard will provide online shoppers strong two-factor authentication and hardware-based display protection against malware not to mention a faster checkout process.
"MasterCard is constantly working to improve the shopping experience for consumers and merchants," said Ed McLaughlin, chief emerging payments officer, MasterCard. "The collaboration with Intel will deliver enhanced security and faster checkout – with the convenience of a simple click or tap."
Typically a PayPass transaction is made by tapping a plastic card, mobile phone or other NFC-enabled devices against a PayPass reader at local retailers. Google Wallet also takes advantage of MasterCard's PayPass technology, but requires a device containing NFC technology and so far the only compatible Android device is the Samsung Nexus S 4G on Sprint. More NFC-enabled smartphones are on the way, however.
Ultrabooks with NFC technology are expected to arrive next year via the 1-chip dual-core Haswell 22-nm architecture. Haswell will reportedly be available in a 15W TDP and pull the Platform Controller Hub (PCH) into the same package as the CPU, making it a single-chip solution. Haswell will also sport performance-boosting features, Thunderbolt and anti-theft technology 4.0 in addition to the NFC tech.