The news was revealed at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The two companies are currently in pilot-phase for an opt-in service that will enable card transactions for users only when they have their mobile device switched on in a specific geolocation abroad. This service aims to reduce consumers’ frustrations associated with having their payment cards used without their knowledge or having their own transactions unnecessarily declined when trying to make purchases in another country. Financial institutions will also have an additional tool that will help them make more effective decisions when approving or declining a transaction on behalf of their customers.
In addition, mobile users could also have a choice of prepaid data packages that they can purchase directly from their phones when they arrive in their destination country. This may perhaps be the unsung story of the news, as even MasterCard admits that over 70 percent of international travelers flip their data to "off" when landing in order to sidestep obscene roaming rates.
Unfortunately, there isn't any news beyond the testing phase as to when this may hit the mainstream, but if it helps overseas data become cheaper, we're all for it.