MasterCard Taking Development Lesson From Tom Sawyer

On Tuesday (May 25), MasterCard announced it plans to release Open APIs so developers "will be able to create a new wave of E-Commerce and mobile payment applications." The only problem: Why would it? MasterCard officials spoke of the power of M-Commerce and E-Commerce platforms, but failed to explain why an Open API approach would help. Unlike PayPal and Apple, where developers have expressed strong interest in creating their own apps to sit atop those platforms, there is little such enthusiasm surrounding Visa and, given its smaller marketshare, even less for MasterCard.

It's hard to look at this MasterCard statement and not envision Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer whitewashing his fence by tricking every other kid in the neighborhood into doing the hard work for him, while he made the money. Tom gave them the tools and let them finish the job. To paraphrase MasterCard's current tagline: There are some things money can't buy. But custom apps and marketshare ain't among them. Use that plastic and pay for your own development. Don't see the development community whitewashing your fence for you this time.

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