MasterCard, today announced that it is collaborating with Network International, the region’s leading acquirer to enhance the acceptance infrastructure of its contactless payment solutions in the UAE with the installation of MasterCard PayPass  terminals across more than 1000 stores by year end which will include popular coffee stores, fast food restaurants, family diners, cinemas, general retailers and convenience stores.
In line with its objective to introduce the latest payment solutions in the region, MasterCard has taken the initiative to promote the widespread adoption of contactless payments across the Middle East with countries such as UAE, Qatar and Lebanon already showing keen interest in the new payments technology.
PayPass is MasterCard’s contactless payment platform that provides consumers with a secure, fast and highly convenient way to pay. Consumers can simply tap their MasterCard PayPass enabled debit, credit cards or any other PayPass enabled device such as smart phones, watches, wrist bands in front of a secure reader that accepts MasterCard PayPass payments. The technology eliminates the need to enter a PIN or fumble for cash and exact coins. Cardholders also don’t need to hand their cards to a clerk or manually swipe through a reader.
“As we continue to drive additional PayPass acceptance among banks and merchants, local consumers can expect secure and convenient solutions to their everyday transactions. The introduction of more than 1000 PayPass terminals across the UAE will provide consumers with improved access to faster payments at check-out,” said Eyad Al-Kourdi, vice president and country manager, UAE, MasterCard Worldwide.
He further added, “With the enhanced acceptance infrastructure, we expect PayPass to undergo a rapid transition from being a novel new technology to an everyday shopping experience which provides yet another innovative option for consumers in the UAE to pay for purchases.”
The PayPass acceptance network is being developed in conjunction with the arrival of Near Field Communications (NFC) payments technology, which can be accessed with modern day smart phones and mobile payment tags. MasterCard has already introduced mobile payment wallets – payment cards placed inside smart phones – in other parts of the world and will soon be launching it in the Middle East region in collaboration with interested financial institutions.
The ongoing GITEX Technology Week event in Dubai that commenced from October 14th has witnessed MasterCard’s presence along with Etisalat, to showcase the benefits of using PayPass payment application with Near Field Communications (NFC) technology.
Commenting on Etisalat’s successful relationship with MasterCard, Khalifa Al Shamsi, Chief Digital Services Officer, Etisalat said, “Earlier this year Etisalat and MasterCard jointly won the Global GSMA Award for Mobile Money Products at GSMA Summit in Barcelona for implementing contactless payment solutions by leveraging NFC and PayPass.”
He further added, “MasterCard’s initiative to expand the acceptance infrastructure for contactless payments in the UAE is an exciting development as customers will soon be able to use their SIM based NFC phones to make fast and secure payments using PayPass. At Etisalat, we are keen to leverage our collaboration with MasterCard not only in the UAE, but also across other key markets including Nigeria and Egypt.”
Primarily designed to accept low value transactions, PayPass is ideal for fast payment environments where speed is essential, such as quick service restaurants, petrol stations, sporting arenas, movie theatres, etc. To make sure that PayPass transactions are simple and convenient, a signature or a PIN is not needed for transactions below AED 100. It is only for purchases of more than this amount that the cardholder will be required to sign or enter a PIN.
“This emerging technology is changing the way we pay for our purchases. It won’t be long before we start seeing consumers tapping their phones against the PayPass payment terminals in stores to purchase rather than carry money or cards around with them” concluded Eyad Al-Kourdi.
A proven and highly secure contactless payment solution, MasterCard PayPass products are effectively safeguarded against fraud, and as an additional assurance, all cardholders are fully protected against any fraudulent losses with their zero cardholder liability policy. PayPass is now available in 500,000 locations spread over 41 countries around the world.
Eric Hughes, General Manager, Costa Coffee  UAE said, “We are excited to be the first Coffee Retailer to have the contactless payment technology available across 100% of our outlets in the UAE. Contactless payment solutions are about providing ways to enable easy payments every time customers visit one of our stores. Customers deserve a fast and secure way to pay at the checkout, which is exactly what we are giving them with PayPass.”
Samer Soliman, Head of Acquiring, Network International  said, “PayPass is the enabling application for introducing payments using mobile phones and fobs. We are excited to collaborate with MasterCard to deliver the latest payment technology for merchants in the UAE. In the Middle East region, we have always been at the forefront of innovation within the acquiring business.”
Besides being of a major convenience to consumers, MasterCard research from international markets shows that merchant establishments also benefit immensely with PayPass acceptance. The findings of a study conducted in Australia revealed that retailers across the country were losing customers as a result of in-store queues. The Australian Queuing Behaviour Survey, revealed that over two-thirds (67%) of consumers abandon their purchase all together if it means standing in line, while 75% of Australians will take their money elsewhere.
The four main PayPass issuers in the UAE currently are Dubai First, Mashreq Bank, Emirates National Bank of Dubai and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank as several other financial institutions have shown interest to work with MasterCard to make contactless payment a reality.
Consumers in the UAE can verify if the PayPass or ‘Tap & Go’ logo is displayed on the front or rear of their cards before using the card for a contactless purchase. In the absence of this logo, consumers can approach their respective banks for information on how to apply for a PayPass card.