Mastercard brings contactless cards at the epicenter of consumer experience

image-Mastercard brings contactless cards at the epicenter of consumer experience MediabriefIn order to simplify the shopping experience for Mastercard cardholders and encourage the adoption of contactless payments among them, Mastercard, today announced the launch of an integrated campaign, ‘Safest Payments, just a tap away that’s the Mahi way’. Under this campaign, Mastercard will partner with large merchants in key consumption categories, i.e., Big Bazaar (retail), Starbucks (food and beverage), PVR Cinemas (entertainment), and Apollo Pharmacy (pharma) to educate cardholders and merchants about the convenience, safety and security offered by contactless cards. 

In the first phase, Mastercard will power select merchant stores across 8 cities with Pine Labs contactless PoS machines. At the same time, Mastercard will lead the creation and distribution of educational content such as videos, emailers, ATM screens, e-leaflets along with partner merchants and banks. Based on the initial response, more partner stores can be onboarded with contactless payments infrastructure. 

Long waiting time in billing queues, tendering the currency change, forgetting or entering the wrong password, and fear of card details being copied are some of the common concerns among consumers of merchant partners. Now, they merely need to tap their contactless card at the PoS terminal to make payments. Thus, their checkout time decreases significantly. Moreover, they do not have to face hassles such as waiting for the cashier to tally payments, tendering the right change, or remembering their personal identification number (PIN) for small-ticket transactions up to ₹2000. For transactions larger than ₹2000, they can use a PIN generated by themselves. 

At Mastercard, the inherent thought about contactless technology is to ensure the best-in-class experience as well as safety and security. The contactless cards contain an embedded chip and a radio frequency (RFID) antenna that provides a wireless link with the PoS machine. When the card is tapped against the machine, information is transmitted in a highly secure manner. Each transaction is uniquely encrypted to protect cardholder’s data, reducing the risk of loss or counterfeit. Since the card does not leave the hands of the cardholder, they have more reasons to be confident about the safety and security of transactions. In case the card is tapped more than once for a transaction, the amount is deducted only once. 

The Pine Labs PoS device also automatically identifies a Mastercard contactless transaction and applies attractive rewards (as below) to instantly gratify Mastercard cardholders: –

  • Big Bazaar- 10% off, with a maximum of up to Rs 50
  • Starbucks- 20% off, with a maximum of up to Rs 200
  • PVR Cinemas20% off, with a maximum of up to Rs 50
  • Apollo Pharmacy20% off, with a maximum of up to Rs 50

Rajeev Kumar, Senior Vice President, Market Development, South Asia, Mastercard added, “Mastercard has been working with merchants and fintech companies across the country to deepen the digital payments acceptance infrastructure. Since more than 80% of retail transactions in India are below ₹2000, contactless cards are the best way to make super quick, safe and secure payments, which helps partner merchants optimize their consumer experience, especially regarding queue management, cashier throughput, cash handling, and associated logistics.  Mastercard is confident that this partnership will play an important role in establishing contactless cards a preferred way for retail shopping and eventually create a digital payments ecosystem.”

The Reserve Bank of India’s Payment System Vision 2021 projects the number of contactless PoS terminals in India close to 5 million by 2021. The vision also factors in the importance of contactless payments towards boosting India’s digital payments ecosystem. 

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