Mastercard mandates contactless POS terminals in Australia and New Zealand

Global payments network Mastercard has announced a plan to make contactless payments a way of life in Australia and New Zealand over the next four years.

Mastercard's Eddie Grobler
GROBLER: 'Roadmap will change the face of the payments industry in Australia'

As part of its ‘MasterCard Roadmap’, Mastercard Australia said the comprehensive plan will “touch every point of the payment landscape”, and has set a series of targets for the roll-out of new products and services by October 2012. These include:

  • All new MasterCards will be PayPass enabled
  • All new merchants in relevant merchant categories must have at least one PayPass-enabled terminal. These categories are:
    • Taxis
    • Newsagents and bookstores
    • Supermarkets, convenience stores, grocers and pharmacies
    • Service Stations and parking lots
    • Fast food restaurants, cafes and bars
    • Cinemas and theatres

Mastercard wants to replace cash as the preferred method of payments for goods and services under A$100 with its PayPass technology, paving the way for the introduction of NFC.

“Today, there are more than 5.3m PayPass cards in the wallets of Australians and they can be used at more than 35,000 merchant locations including McDonalds, Bunnings, 7-Eleven and JB Hifi,” said MasterCard’s divisional president Eddie Grobler.

“We know that customers want PayPass. Between June and December 2010, we saw growth in the number of PayPass transactions in Australia of over 235%.

“The set of changes outlined in the Roadmap will change the face of the payments industry in Australia and bring a broad range of benefits across the financial sector.

“The Roadmap is our commitment to merchants, cardholders and our customer banks to facilitate the acceptance of payments in a quicker, safer and more efficient way.”

There is an emphasis on security within the Roadmap, too, to ensure the public trusts the new technology. Mandating universal adoption of EMV chip cards and security, Mastercard Australia sets out deadlines:

  • October 2011: All new and reissued MasterCard cards issued by Australian banks must be EMV capable, with all point-of-sale terminals EMV compliant by April 2012
  • April 2013: All cards and payment terminals will need to be EMV capable
  • April 2013: Online merchants must provide either MasterCard SecureCode Authentication or the equivalent for transactions over A$200
  • At the end of 2015, all ATMs in Australia must be EMV enabled

“MasterCard has placed a strong and consistent emphasis on our security systems to safeguard cardholders, merchants and the banking industry,” says Mr Grobler.

“In the next five years we will continue to invest here, particularly with more merchants and cardholders migrating to online purchases.”

The Roadmap extends to New Zealand, where the company aims to have all POS terminals EMV compliant by July 2011, and all existing cards and terminals will have PayPass functionality by April 2014.

MasterCard Australia is believed to be the first payments network to issue a mandate of this type for contactless cards and terminals. Whether the move by MasterCard Australia is part of a larger plan involving the issue of contactless mandates in other countries around the world is not yet clear, however.

NFC World asked MasterCard if the payments network has plans to mandate contactless in other markets around the world but has not yet received a response.

Next: Visit the NFCW Expo to find new suppliers and solutions