Mastercard has approved a range of near-field communications (NFC)-enabled smartphones for use with its PayPass contactless payments, moving mobile NFC payments closer to the mainstream.
The credit card company and payments processor has awarded "Mastercard PayPass Ready" certification to at least 17 smartphones from manufacturers including HTC, Sony, Samsung, Nokia, LG and Intel. It had already awarded certifications, meaning that the manufacturer’s security design is up to scratch, to two BlackBerry devices.
The certification was developed in partnership with industry bodies includingEMVCo, a payments body jointly owned by Visa, Mastercard and American Express, and the NFC Forum.
Mung Ki Woo, group mobile executive at MasterCard, said the certification scheme will allow consumers to choose NFC-enabled smartphones safely. "In the near future, millions of phones will ship with NFC technology embedded within them," he said.
Mastercard’s rival Visa also has an NFC-certification scheme, but has only approved six smartphones so far. Mastercard also has the head start in mobile wallet services, which allow users to make payments online and, in future, using NFC from the smartphones.
Mastercard’s offering, called Boku, was launched in February, while Visa’s muched-delayed V.me is due later this year.
Technology companies, mobile carriers and banks are also targeting mobile payments. Orange and Barclaycard have partnered to bypass the card providers and offer a ‘Quick Tap’ NFC payments service on Orange’s enabled phones. O2 also launched a mobile wallet app recently.
Yesterday, Mastercard released research about its US customers’ use of contactless payment cards. Examining 12 months of data, it found that customers tend to 30% more on average using contactless cards than with the traditional swipe and sign system still in use in the US.