The owner of Canadian e-book firm Kobo and investor in social media site Pinterest announced that it’s implemented MasterCard’s digital wallet on its main e-commerce site yesterday.

Rakuten.com is a major shopping site in Japan and users will now be able to complete their checkouts using MasterPass, a press release says. Shoppers can use the payment method with their laptop or mobile device. MasterPass is a new online digital payments service from MasterCard that allows shoppers to manage multiple payment cards in one digital place. It also allows shoppers to complete a checkout without registering for individual e-commerce sites. For merchants, it promises to be a quick and easy way to provide payment information and hopefully convert more online window shoppers into buyers.

What’s interesting about the announcement is that Rakuten is also the owner of Kobo, having acquired the Toronto-based firm for $315 million in November 2011. It’s also a big investor in Pinterest, putting $100 million into the image-based social network in May 2012. Not to mention all its other e-commerce properties including Buy.com, Play.com, and Tradoria.

Could we see MasterPass migrate to these other platforms in the future? It could make sense for Kobo. E-books tend to be a fairly low-value transaction and consumers might be more likley to complete a purchase if they don’t have to dig out their credit card every time. The prospect of Pinterest going into the e-commerce space with something like MasterPass is also interesting. Many people use Pinterest to assemble wish lists of products they’d like to have or plan to buy soon, so why not partner with some sellers and offer the ability to pay for the item right there?

 

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