MasterCard officials beckoned software developers to explore their credit card payment platform with the release of a new open programming toolkit. The API allows software, such as mobile phone apps, to directly interface with MasterCard processing systems that were once only available with expensive merchant accounts.
"Over the past few years, we have used some of our Open APIs internally to create groundbreaking new iPhone applications, such as MasterCard ATM Hunter and MasterCard Easy Savings," said company spokesperson Garry Lyons. "Opening these and other APIs to the global development community developers will provide developers the opportunity to come up with new ideas that may not have been previously considered or thought possible."
Open APIs have become an expected standard for online information services, like databases, photo galleries, or social networking services. Open APIs from financial companies help developers create "mashup" projects that blend payment information with geographic or social data that can tell a story. Developers can also use financial APIs to enable e-commerce functions within dedicated desktop or mobile apps.