Thursday , July 2, 2020

With Momentum From Transit, Contactless Accounts for a Rising Share of Card Payments

With card-based transit payments picking up steam in the United States, a key Mastercard Inc. executive said Thursday that 22% of the network’s physical-world transactions globally were contactless as of the end of 2018. The time to complete a contactless transaction is down to 0.4 seconds, added Ajay Bhalla, president for cyber and intelligence solutions, during a presentation for investors.

That speed is especially important in mass transit, he said. The latest major-city system to adopt contactless-acceptance for payment at its gates is that of Miami, which last month began accepting contactless cards at 23 commuter train stations. In May, New York City’s extensive system also began accepting tap-and-pay cards for some trains and buses. That program is expected to unfold throughout New York’s transit network over the next 15 months.

Beyond contactless transactions, some 88% of Mastercard’s transactions worldwide were done with EMV chip cards as of July, Bhalla also disclosed. He linked that progress with the network’s plans to move further into payments in the so-called Internet of Things, which includes payments originating from objects ranging from automobiles to watches and clothing. Transactions from such sources depends on the security offered by EMV chips, he said.

The United States, which adopted the EMV chip standard later than most other advanced payments markets, has come a long way since the standard was introduced in the U.S. in 2015, Bhalla added. “The United States is now the largest chip market for us in the world,” he said.

In online commerce, Mastercard technology stopped attempted fraud on transactions totaling an estimated $10 billion in value in the 12 months through June, Bhalla added. Mastercard has invested heavily in recent years to beef up its fraud-fighting capabilities. Earlier this year, the company bought Ethoca Inc., whose technology eases the resolution of disputed transactions.

In 2017, Mastercard acquired NuData Security, which identifies users from their interactions with mobile apps and online services, and Brighterion Inc, a provider of artificial intelligence and machine-learning services.

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