Mobile contactless payments set for accelerated growth


One quarter of Britons intend to make a contactless payment with their smartphone in the next 12 months

Following the recent UK launch of Android Pay, new MasterCard figures show that one quarter of Brits intend to use their mobile to make contactless payments in the next 12 months.

Despite the relative infancy of the technology in the UK, one in 20 people are using it once a week or more. Now with more mobile handsets enabled for contactless payments, reservations are beginning to disappear, and in fact as many as 13% of British consumers have no reservations at all.

The most common fear is losing our device, with 65% of people worrying that if their device falls into the wrong hands someone can use it to buy things with their money.

Elliott Goldenberg, head of digital payments, MasterCard UK and Ireland, said: “We have built the secure foundations for these payments across our network. You can load your MasterCard onto your device through Android Pay, confident in the knowledge that it gives you all the benefits and consumer protection of a card transaction. Our research shows that one in three people intend to link to their credit card for that reason.”

He continued: “Mobile phones offer people the means to make contactless payments over £30 because the user can be verified, for example by means of their fingerprint.  The other key difference is the use of digital tokens – in short, your card details aren’t passed onto the retailer because they are not stored on the phone in the first place. As consumers increasingly recognise these benefits, mobile payments will begin to see the kind of growth that contactless has had over the last two years.”

MasterCard has created a way to digitally enable cards (through ‘MDES’) which has been built to ensure transactions can take full advantage of the most advanced payment security in the world.

In setting up a device for Android Pay, MasterCard generates a digital token that is associated with that device and stored on a secure server. Not only is that token number different from the actual card number but it is also prevented from transacting via any other device. When the consumer uses their mobile device in a transaction, it is the token provided to the store, and not the real card number.

Android Pay is available on a wide range of devices from various manufacturers and MasterCard has already worked with Bank of Scotland, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds, MBNA and M&S Bank to enable their cards for use in the new scheme. MasterCard continues to work with further UK banks to enable more and more consumers to take advantage of this exciting new payments innovation.

MasterCard is ensuring that mobile devices will be able to be used almost everywhere for payments by requiring that all retailers across Europe which accept MasterCard, must also accept contactless payments by 2020 at the latest.


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