MasterCard to cater to developers with APIs, portal

External programmers will be able to build payment applications

MasterCard is launching a program for external developers interested in tapping into some of the credit card giant's internal payment and data services to create applications.

MasterCard will release open APIs (application programming interfaces) and launch a portal for developers so that they can create e-payment applications.

The portal will have technical information, software development kits, sample code and testing sandboxes, as well as a discussion forum where MasterCard officials and external developers can interact.

A new group called MasterCard Labs is in charge of the Open API program. Interested developers can write to api@mastercard.com to obtain more information. Developers will go through a registration and approval process in order to participate.

MasterCard hopes to have the portal and the developer tools up by this year's fourth quarter, said Josh Peirez, the company's chief innovation officer.

The registration process is intended to keep scammers out of the program and won't be overly restrictive or difficult for legitimate developers, he said. "We just want to make sure we're not having criminals get into our system and that we can provide the security, fraud prevention and safety that people expect from us," he said.

MasterCard envisions developers creating mobile and PC applications for individuals, corporate customers and merchant partners, he said.

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