MasterCard launches contactless payments in London

MasterCard has launched PayPass, its contactless “tap and go” payments system, in the UK with an initial roll out in the City and Canary Wharf.

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MasterCard has launched PayPass, its contactless “tap and go” payments system, in the UK with an initial roll out in the City and Canary Wharf.

The launch means that from today customers will be able to use PayPass cards to pay for purchases under £10 at outlets across the two financial districts. Retailers offering the service include Krispy Kreme, McDonalds, Eat and Coffee Republic.

To make a purchase customers wave or tap their cards on a specially-equipped terminal that utilises a radio frequency chip to complete the transaction. Payment details are communicated to the terminal and then processed through the MasterCard network for clearing and settlement.

John Bushby, MasterCard Northern Europe’s general manager, said: “Consumers and retailers in other parts of Europe, the US and Asia are already embracing contactless payments in retail environments where speed is essential. Led by Londoners using MasterCard PayPass or Maestro PayPass cards from this month, we believe UK consumers will also welcome the arrival of a new way to pay.”

The contactless feature can be added to any MasterCard credit, debit, pre-paid card or Maestro debit card.
The City and Canary Wharf roll-out marks the beginning of a national rollout of contactless payments.

Implementation across the rest of the UK is scheduled to take place throughout next year, with five million contactless cards due to be in issue for use at 100,000 retailers by the end of 2008.

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