Tuesday, July 20, 2021
In 2021, Mastercard and Visa introduced new enhanced contactless specifications designed to make transactions safer and more convenient. Participating technology companies can become certified Visa Ready Tap to Pay and Mastercard Enhanced Contactless (Ecos) providers, helping create an optimal and standardized customer experience, the card brands stated.
Ajay Bhalla, president, cyber & intelligence at Mastercard called contactless the present and future of in-person payments. "2020 brought with it a rapid acceleration of digitization and reinforced the importance of digital solutions - like contactless - to help meet our everyday needs," he said in a statement. "As the ecosystem continues to evolve, more connected devices and the Internet of Things are going to create more user demand and an even greater need for constant innovation to build next-generation capability, helping to ensure that technology never outpaces trust."
Mary Kay Bowman, global head of buyer and seller solutions at Visa, stated that the Visa Tap to Phone initiative is enabling IoT and mobile devices to accept payments in a very simple way. "With billions of phones around the world at the ready, the opportunity that comes with lighting them up as payment acceptance devices is enormous," she said. "Visa Tap to Phone could be one of the most profound ways to reinvent the physical shopping experience."
A new population of commercial off-the-shelf devices, including smartphones, tablets and wearable technology, are powering next-gen contactless transactions, analysts have noted. The Manipal Group described a wearable contactless payment device as a solution that combines payment functionality with utility and convenience.
"The combined term, a wearable contactless payment device emerges from a need of binding the functionality and capability of making payment transactions from a device which is handy and portable," Manipal researchers wrote. "The concept of a wearable contactless device takes this convenience to the next level by giving the flexibility of wearing the device in various form factors."
In November 2020, fintech companies i2C and Purewrist introduced Purewrist Go, a wristband that leverages Purewrist technology, i2C's processing platform and the Mastercard debit network. The companies noted that branded wearable payments devices will give consumers safe and easy ways to pay while promoting retail brands.
Intuit introduced a contactless card reader in July 2021, designed to help small and midsize businesses with fast, convenient contactless payment processing, the company stated. An Intuit blog by Larry Cheng, titled, "A new way to get paid: Introducing the QuickBooks Card Reader for mobile and contactless payments," pointed out that hassle-free payment hardware enables faster in-person sales and the ability to get paid on the go.
"The QuickBooks Card Reader comes at a time when small business owners are evolving their methods of accepting payments to adapt to consumer behavior and preference," Cheng wrote. "Small yet powerful, the QuickBooks Card Reader is easy to take with you for mobile and contactless payment acceptance on the go. The exclusively designed card reader brings delightful interaction points to the payments experience for small business owners and their customers."
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