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MasterCard Introduces Next-Generation Contactless Payments

February 23, 2021

On 26th January 2021, MasterCard made the announcement that it is going to apply for the revolutionary range of quantum-resistant technologies for the development of next-gen contactless payments. The Ecos or Enhanced Contactless specifications will be the first-ever such technology in the industry. It helps in ensuring that as the dynamic digital landscape continues to evolve, and newer technologies including quantum computing are getting introduced, the technology of contactless payments will be future-proofed. At the same time, it also helps in ensuring that consumers would continue enjoying the same higher levels of security as well as convenience they have in the modern era, for several years to come.

The overall demand for safer, more convenient, and faster ways of payment has ignited the transition to the technology of contactless payments. At the same time, it is expected that the given trend will only grow in the coming years. As a matter of fact, during the 3rd quarter of 2020, contactless payments accounted for around 41 percent of transactions related to in-person purchases across the globe –witnessing an overall increase of 30 percent in comparison to the previous year.

MasterCard Introducing the Revolutionary Contactless Payment Technology

MasterCard has been accelerating the overall shift to the concept of contactless payment for several years. At the same time, the leading payment giant has been developing high-end specifications in the form of Ecos for supporting efforts related to industry standardization. At the same time, it can also help in ensuring that the overall ecosystem tends to benefit from increasing security levels.

Ajay Bhalla –President of Cyber & Intelligence at MasterCard, says that contactless technology serves to be the present as well as the future of in-person payments. The year 2020 had been responsible for bringing with it a significant rise of digitization while reinforcing the overall significance of digital solutions. One major instance of the given solution is contactless technology for helping in meeting the everyday needs. As the given ecosystem continues evolving, an increasing number of connected devices as well as the IoT (Internet of Things) are going to yield improved user demands. At the same time, it can also help in creating a greater need for continuous innovation for building next-gen capability while ensuring that technology would never outgrow trust.

Benefits of Ecos

With the help of Ecos or Enhanced Contactless specifications, some potential benefits to look out for are:

  • Improved Convenience: Over the passage of time, it is estimated that the respective in-store shopping experience will become contactless only. The latest specifications will help in delivering the assurance that any device is truly capable of serving as a payment device while getting rid of the overall need for the backup swiping or dipping of the card.
  • Improved Privacy: The all-new specifications will be helpful in delivering advanced protection when the existing account information will be getting shared between the digital wallet or card and the final checkout terminal. Ecos helps in building on the improved requirements for supporting a myriad of privacy regulations.
  • Improved Trust: Ecos is known to make use of the all-new quantum-resistant technology for delivering advanced algorithms as well as cryptography major strengths. At the same time, it also helps in maintaining the contactless interaction under the value of half a second.

As the all-new specifications get activated in the period of coming years, merchants as well as consumers can expect hassle-free transactions. Mobile payments, digital wallets, point-of-sale terminals, and contactless cards are going to continue working as they are doing in the modern era. Moreover, the overall compatibility with Ecos, along with the ongoing contactless specifications is going to be simple & straightforward.

Ecos is known to work behind the existing scenes while being delivered through some software upgrade. As such, no terminals or hardware specifications are required. The given investment tends to complement similar investments in the form of Click-to-pay, 3-D secure, and token technologies for delivering an improved merchant as well as consumer experience.

The Ever-increasing Demand for Contactless Payments

The overall demand for contactless payments is going strong and is increasing with each passing day. It is estimated that around 15 percent of the respective in-store purchases across the globe make use of the given technology. Realizing the immense opportunity to speed up the process of adoption, MasterCard has come up with a proper roadmap for setting out the specific requirements:

  • After the period of October 2018, acceptance terminals that are relatively newer in countries like Africa, the Middle East, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Europe will be featuring the EMV chip while being contactless enabled.
  • After the period of April 2019, the cards that are issued new in the countries like Africa, the Middle East, Asia Pacific, and Latin America will be featuring EMV chip as well as the revolutionary contactless technology
  • By the time of April 2023, all the respective merchant terminals in countries like the Middle East, Europe, Africa, and Latin America will be featuring the EMV chip while being contactless-enabled

Markets across the countries of Africa and the Middle East have already embraced and implemented the high-end technology of contactless payments. The given momentum is expected to receive more momentum with the acceleration of the acceptance landscape in the given region.

Foundation for Improved Security and Enhanced Growth

In the modern digital world, transactions are going to get smarter. At the core of the given fact is dynamic authentication in which every transaction would be incorporating unique information. It would also make it virtually impossible to replicate. This helps in reducing the overall risk of ensuring fraudulent transactions.

As the issuers would be evolving the respective offerings with the merchants upgrading the existing terminals, the modern payment system will be becoming more secure. This is because the given form of dynamic data gets introduced into the payment transaction. As such, the roadmap by MasterCard aims at strongly encouraging the overall adoption of the most secure available technologies.

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