MasterCard Is Taking Contactless Payments To The Next Level

contactless mastercard

Payment provider announces plans to streamline tokenisation and to allow ‘high-value’ contactless payments across all European terminals by 2017

MasterCard has announced plans to greatly improve both the scale and security of contactless payments as the technology becomes increasingly popular across Europe.

The payment leader has said it wants to allow ‘high-value’ contactless payments across all European terminals by 2017, the date by which new standards it is introducing across the continent should be completed.

Currently, the maximum customers can spend using a contactless card is £30, but by 2017 all MasterCard contactless terminals will be upgraded to allow higher value payments, the company said.


mastercard payments masterpassMasterCard also repeated its aim to have contactless available at all its point of sale (POS) acceptance points across Europe by 2020.

In the second quarter of 2015, contactless transactions in Europe grew by almost 170 percent year on year and consumers already using contactless tapped to pay 20 percent more, said the card giant.

“The list of retailers accepting contactless never stops growing,” said Chris Kangas, head of contactless payments Europe at MasterCard. “Over the last quarter, we have announced new acceptance deals across Europe with major retailers like Ikea and McDonald’s.

“The drive to full contactless acceptance is taking hold. In July 2015, 43 percent of new terminals installed had contactless capability which is up from 21 percent the previous year.”

The news was welcomed by other payment companies, including PrePay Solutions, the largest issuer of prepaid contactless in Europe, which said there was ‘no reason’ why the number of contactless transactions cannot continue to rise in the future.

“The average value of card transactions has been falling for a while now, as people continue to opt for greater convenience and become familiar with the technology,” said Ray Brash, PrePay Solutions MD & chairman.

“This steady growth will help contactless take off further and once again shows customer demand for convenience and security.”

“Contactless has become the norm for many transactions; as a retailer it has become vital to adopt the technology. You don’t want to answer the statement or question ‘go contactless’ with an embarrassed, sorry, we don’t do contactless.”


Mobile securityMasterCard has also revealed it is streamlining one of the key security processes surrounding mobile payments.

The company says it has already signed up both Google and Samsung to its MasterCard Digital Enablement Express (MasterCard Express), which looks to improve the rollout of tokenisation technology, which ensures that a user’s personal information is never put at risk whilst making a contactless transaction.

Banking and payment institutions that are signed up to the service will receive immediate access to the latest digital payments services, meaning MasterCard can deliver new services more quickly, and at scale, to consumers around the world.

“MasterCard is working relentlessly to increase payment security and enable innovative new digital services for consumers, to the benefit of all participants in our network,” said Ed McLaughlin, chief emerging payments officer at MasterCard. “Express now allows key technology partners to make their offerings available to all MasterCard issuers in a simple, safe and consistent manner, extending our network model into digital enablement.”

All clued up on mobile payments? Try our quiz!