MasterCard unveils contact-less payment card

KUALA LUMPUR: MasterCard International has launched the world's first globally interoperable contact-less payment card, PayPass, to enhance the efficiency of payment solutions in Malaysia, said vice-president and senior country manager Malaysia and Brunei, Jim Cheah.
The dual-interface contact-less Europay-MasterCard-Visa (EMV) payment solution combines both contact and contact-less interfaces on one chip to widen the usage of the card internationally.

“PayPass is all about convenience and speed whereby cardholders only need tap on the payment terminal to complete a transaction. We are optimistic about the take-up rate in Malaysia as the card's unique features will attract cardholders' interest,” he said after the launch of the MasterCard PayPass yesterday.

Currently, the card is available in the US, Thailand, Taiwan, Japan and the Philippines.

“MasterCard International intends to expand the PayPass service to more countries to increase the usage of the card globally,” Cheah said, but declined to elaborate.

Malaysian merchants that accept the PayPass card include Carrefour, KLIA Express, Starbucks Coffee, P & Co and Vincci.

Financial institutions such as MBF Cards (M) Sdn Bhd, RHB Bank Bhd and Southern Bank Bhd are currently issuing credit cards with the new feature.

“We are pleased to have a number of banks showing interest and more than 20 merchant brands accepting the PayPass card. The response is overwhelming and we are confident that the card will be well accepted in the country,” said Cheah.

He said since the EMV card was well accepted in the local market, he believed that the take up of the new card would be equally good.

Head of Product Sales and Delivery Asia Pacific Shuan Ghaidan said that as of December 2005, there were more than 4.3 million MasterCard PayPass cards in circulation globally, with about 25,000 merchants accepting the card.

“This indicates that issuing banks, merchants and cardholders are seeing the benefits of PayPass and that the idea of tap and go is certainly compelling,” he added.
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