MasterCard Licenses Common Contactless Communications Protocol to JCB Co. Ltd.

MasterCard Licenses Common Contactless Communications Protocol to JCB Co. Ltd.

Singapore, March 14, 2006–MasterCard International and JCB Co. Ltd. today announced that they have reached an agreement to share the MasterCard™ PayPass™ ISO/IEC 14443 Implementation Specification as a common communications protocol for radio frequency-based contactless payments. Contactless payments allow cardholders to speed through checkout by paying with a simple tap, eliminating the need for customers to hand over their payment card to a merchant or fumble for cash and coins.

The agreement means that cards and terminals supporting MasterCard and JCB contactless payment applications will conform to the same communications protocol and undergo equivalent testing.

The use of a common communications protocol for conducting contactless payments will enable vendors to streamline product development and testing, leading to reduced implementation costs and faster time to market for financial institutions and merchants. With a common communications protocol in place, merchants will also have the assurance that a single point of sale terminal may support multiple payment brands from a communications perspective and will require less time for terminal programming and testing.

“Global interoperability is vital to the success of any payment program. Our agreement with JCB allows us to take a step further in establishing a globally interoperable communications standard for contactless payment solutions,” said Shuan Ghaidan, head of product sales & delivery, Asia/Pacific, MasterCard International. “The common contactless communications protocol specification based on international standards has already been trialed and market-proven by MasterCard.”

Contactless payments significantly increase convenience for consumers and are ideal for quick payment environments where speed is essential, such as quick service restaurants, gas stations, drug stores, supermarkets and movie theaters. Contactless payments also open up new opportunities for accepting card-based payments in unattended sales environments, such as vending machines and highway tolls.

For years, MasterCard has been the industry innovator in contactless payments. In line with accelerating the industry’s migration toward contactless payments, in March 2005, MasterCard licensed its communications protocol for RF-based contactless payments to Visa International. JCB’s agreement now adds to the development of contactless payments within the industry as it conforms to the same communications protocol.

Approximately 25,000 merchant locations around the world accept PayPass. PayPass pilots, programs and collaborations announced in Asia/Pacific include:

  • MasterCard in collaboration with MBF Cards (M’sia) Sdn Bhd launched the world’s first MasterCard FIFA World Cup™ card which includes the OneSmart™ MasterCard PayPass application in February 2006;
  • MasterCard brings internationally accepted OneSmart MasterCard PayPass EMV solution to Malaysia and signs on more than 30 merchant chains in February 2006;
  • Payment Solutions and MasterCard announced the pilot launch of PayPass in Thailand in December 2005;
  • MasterCard unveiled a list of merchant outlets in Taiwan that will accept PayPass in November 2005;
  • Pocket Card and Itochu Enex announced that they would launch a PayPass pilot program in Japan in the first quarter of 2006
  • The Kaohsiung Government (KCG) transportation project for Southern Taiwan was announced in January 2005, which incorporates the world’s first PayPass Chip Combi Card;
  • The Bank of Philippine Islands (BPI) launched a PayPass pilot program in January 2005;
    Orient Corporation and MasterCard announced a PayPass pilot program in Japan in September 2004

About MasterCard International

MasterCard International is a leading global payments solutions company that provides a broad variety of innovative services in support of our global members’ credit, deposit access, electronic cash, business-to-business and related payment programs. MasterCard manages a family of well-known, widely accepted payment card brands including MasterCard®, Maestro® and Cirrus® and serves financial institutions, consumers and businesses in over 210 countries and territories. The MasterCard award-winning Priceless® advertising campaign is now seen in 105 countries and in 48 languages, giving the MasterCard brand a truly global reach and scope. For more information, go to