Consumers who have a credit card with Mastercard will be able to see all of their benefits with 360-degree, photo-realistic and fully immersive augmented reality.

You might pick up your smartphone and find yourself in the middle of a relaxing luxury spa where you'd be pampered like royalty, or on the links overlooking the ocean at California's iconic Pebble Beach golf resort.

Or maybe see what it would be like to use your points to take a trip to Costa Rica.

The app will allow cardholders to preview benefits virtually — before deciding to redeem.

How to use Mastercard's augmented reality app

Once it hits the app store, Mastercard cardholders will be able to download the app and scan their Mastercard to build their personal profile.

They'll find three portals outlining the key benefits: experiences, everyday value and peace of mind. Each is visually represented as users move their phones around.

Users will be able to tap each portal to launch a fully immersive 360-degree experience. For example, peace of mind is represented by a spa and everyday value is a stylish home.

After entering a portal, the user will be able to scan around the virtual room and tap on different items to reveal cardholder benefits.

While the app will be available only for iPhones in the U.S. at first, Mastercard plans to add availability for additional regions and devices later in the year.

Some retaliers have integrated AR into their platforms to give customers an experiential feel, without having to trek out to stores.

For example, Ikea allows customers to use their mobile devices to see how the company's furniture will look inside their own living spaces. The app and online shopping helped the retailer boast 2.5 billion website visits in 2018.

But Mastercard's augmented reality marks a first for the banking industry. It's the only card network to weave AR into its customer experience. Depending on the success of the platform, Visa, American Express and Discover could soon follow suit.

About the Author

Sarah Cunnane

Sarah Cunnane

Staff Writer

Sarah Cunnane is a staff writer at MoneyWise. She is a writing and marketing professional with an Honors Bachelor's degree in English and Creative Writing from the University of Toronto.

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