Intel and MasterCard today announced a partnership to bring contactless payments to ultrabooks for online payments. The companies say the technology will make paying online easier and more secure.

Ultrabooks are a class of device defined by a specification released by Intel. Similar to the Macbook Air, ultrabooks are known for being lightweight and ultraportable. 

MasterCard and Intel are working together on a variety of emerging payment technologies, including MasterCard's PayPass and Intel Identity Protection Technology (IPT). Intel Identity Protection Technology can enable consumers to use two-factor authentication and hardware-based display protection.

Additionally, when used with an IPT-enabled reader, consumers will be able to pay for online purchases with a tap of their PayPass-enabled card, tag or smartphone on an ultrabook device.

"Online commerce is a key focus area for Intel, and through this partnership with MasterCard, we intend to deliver an innovative, personalized and safer e-commerce experience to consumers," said George Thangadurai, general manager of PC Client Services Division, Intel Corporation, in a statement.

Online sales reached $176.2 billion last year in the United States alone and are expected to grow at double-digit percentage rates annually for the next five years, according to Forrester Research.