Mastercard Inc. will test contactless payment acceptance using common Android smart phones and tablets in the United States. The technology, relying on software developed by Mastercard Labs, enables these off-the-shelf devices to accept contactless payments with no special hardware.
Announced Monday, the service, called Tap on Phone, intends to capitalize on growing consumer and merchant use of contactless payments. In the 2020 third quarter, 41% of in-person purchases globally were made with contactless methods, up from 37% in the second quarter and from 30% a year prior. The card brand says Tap on Phone is the first use of its Cloud Point of Sale acceptance technology.
Mastercard says that with Tap on Phone merchants can use an Android phone or tablet to accept contactless payments at the curbside, as payment on delivery, and in-store to provider faster line-skipping checkouts. The card brand is providing a software development kit in multiple cloud environments to encourage adoption of the tech.
To get the service going, Mastercard enlisted NMI, a Schaumburg, Ill.-based gateway, and Atlanta-based payments processor Global Payments Inc. to help with distribution. It has also recruited CEG, a tech-support firm based in Napa, Calif., as the first merchant to use the Cloud Tap on Phone technology. Independent sales organization BNG Payments, Fargo, N.D., provides merchant services to CEG. Mastercard says the new service follows the security principles that are part of the PCI Security Standards Council’s specification for contactless payments on commercially-off-the-shelf devices.
Mastercard’s announcement follows Visa Inc.’s decision last month to grant a security compliance allowance to MagicCube Inc. Santa Clara, Calif.-based MagicCube said the move will allow its iAccept technology to achieve “traction” in the U.S. market this year. The technology allows merchants to accept contactless card transactions on ordinary Android devices.