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MasterCard brings NFC payments on Samsung devices to Australia

December 13, 2013

The Commonwealth Bank app enables payments via MasterCard PayPass

Commonwealth Bank of Australia customers who own a Samsung Galaxy S4 can now pay for purchases using the bank’s mobile application at merchants accepting MasterCard PayPass contactless payments.

With Commonwealth Bank of Australia agreement, MasterCard is the first payment network to enable live consumer mobile payments using the new security and NFC technology embedded in Samsung flagship phones. MasterCard and Visa both announced agreements with Samsung earlier this year to bring their mobile payments solutions to Samsung mobile devices.

“Australia is a market where we are already witnessing extensive use of contactless by consumers, where approximately one in three MasterCard transactions were contactless,” said Mung Ki Woo, group executive for mobile and industry alliances at MasterCard, Purchase, NY.

“MasterCard is focused on helping consumers securely shop and pay in a way that best fits their needs, across all of their devices, and bringing contactless payments capabilities to phones will benefit consumers who already enjoy the speed and simplicity afforded them via contactless,” he said.

Tap-and-go payments
To use the mobile payments solution, the bank’s customers must add the functionality to their devices using the CommBank app. Once they do, they can pay using their Samsung S4 phones at any of the 99,000 merchant locations in Australia that accept PayPass contactless payments.

MasterCard PayPass is preloaded on the embedded NFC chip in the Samsung phone.

Bank customers will be able to pay for purchases by turning on their phone screen and tapping their phone on a contactless point-of-sale terminal at more than 1.6 million merchants around the globe, including major retailers, convenience stores, grocery stores, pharmacies and taxis.

A screenshot of the app

MasterCard and Samsung plan to complete similar service rollouts with banks and mobile network operators in Turkey, Russia and the Ukraine in the first quarter of 2014. Current efforts between MasterCard and Samsung are focused on other global markets outside of the United States.

An evolving ecosystem
Payment networks such as MasterCard and Visa are looking for strategies to ensure they have a prominent role in mobile payments, which has given rise to alternative solutions that seek to disintermediate the payment networks, such as PayPal.

In its quest for a role in mobile payments, MasterCard is pursuing other strategies beyond NFC to bring mobile payments to its customers as NFC’s role in driving mobile payments becomes increasingly unsure.

The payment network recently teamed up with its major competitors Visa and American Express to announce plans to create a new standard intended to streamline mobile payments. The proposed standard would not replace current mobile payments solutions but be integrated into them (see story).

“MasterCard and Samsung are working together to accelerate the adoption of NFC-based mobile payment initiatives by enabling MasterCard cardholders to securely load and store payment account credentials on select flagship NFC-enabled Samsung devices, enabling fast and secure contactless payments,” Mr. Gendron said.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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