SINGAPORE: The global payment service provider MasterCard Worldwide announced today its contactless payments technology, MasterCard PayPass has been deployed in nearly 700,000 merchant locations in 51 countries as of Q4 2012. The number of merchant locations for MasterCard PayPass in Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa (APMEA) region was increased 28 per cent last year, MasterCard Worldwide said. The emerging markets take up contactless payments to reduce cash and the innovation of contactless payments were the two major key contributions to the growth of MasterCard PayPass in the said region.
The contactless cards were firstly launched by MasterCard WorldWide and Vietnam Export Import Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Eximbank) in Vietnam early of this month with hundreds of merchant acceptance locations countrywide. This has marked a significant milestone in the country’s payments country. The launch of the contactless cards in Vietnam is in line with the objective of Vietnam’s government to reduce cash payment to below 11 percent of total transactions and to have 250,000 card-accepting merchants with 200 million transactions per year by 2015.
In Singapore, MasterCard collaborated with DBS, EZ-Link and Starhub to launch a Near Field Communication (NFC) app “SmartWallet”, a seamless and secure digital wallet service and with M1 and EZ-Link jointly launched the first Telco-Prepaid MasterCard PayPass card that rewards the cardholder’s spending on the card with airtime bonus.
For Australia market, MasterCard and Commonwealth Bank launched Commbank Kaching, the first Australian iPhone application of its kind to facilitate peer to peer payments and use MasterCard PayPass to allow customers to simply tap their iPhone to pay anywhere PayPass is accepted in the country.
MasterCard was selected by NTT DOCOMO, Japan’s leading mobile operator, to help connect their domestic payments network to the world, and enable consumers in Japan using MasterCard PayPass Ready Smartphones to make contactless payments while traveling the world, anywhere PayPass is accepted.
All the above innovations launched by MasterCard Worldwide together with its strategic partners are encouraging the adoption of contactless payments technology in APMEA region.
by Terry Brown