MasterCard Reports Strong Uptake of Contactless Payments in Asia/Pacific, Middle East & Africa Region

MasterCard Reports Strong Uptake of Contactless Payments in Asia/Pacific, Middle East & Africa Region

Momentum Driven through the Launch of Innovative 3D Soccer Ball Key Chain and MasterCard PayPass Watch

Singapore, July 12, 2006–MasterCard Worldwide today announced continued momentum in the uptake of its “contactless” payment feature, better known as MasterCard PayPass. In the first five months of 2006, MasterCard in the Asia/Pacific, Middle East & Africa region witnessed more than 55% increase compared to 2005 in the issuance of its payment card and other payment devices, such as the MasterCard PayPass 3-D Soccer Ball Key Chain and the MasterCard PayPass Watch.

As of end May 2006, MasterCard has introduced eight significant PayPass pilots, programs and collaborations in the region. Leveraging the 2006 FIFA World Cup™, MasterCard, in June, launched the world’s first soccer-themed watch equipped with MasterCard PayPass, in collaboration with Chinatrust Commercial Bank, LAKS GmbH, and On Track Innovations Ltd. (OTI) (NASDAQ: OTIV). Weeks prior to the launch, MasterCard also joined hands with OTI and Taipei Fubon Bank to introduce a 3D Soccer Ball Key Chain for consumers in Taiwan.

“The strong uptake of MasterCard PayPass across the region shows the growing interest by customer financial institutions and merchants in introducing contactless payments to consumers who will benefit from the speed and convenience offered by this innovative payment feature. Through extensive research and development over the years, we have seen the adoption and appeal of contactless payments grow considerably,” said Shuan Ghaidan, head of product sales & delivery, Asia/Pacific, MasterCard Worldwide.

Over the past three months several developments have occurred. In April, MasterCard launched its first PayPass pilot program in Australia with Commonwealth Bank; while in Korea, MasterCard collaborated with Samsung Card and three mobile phone companies, SK Telecom, LG TeleCom and KTF to pilot the use of mobile phones as contactless payment devices. Additionally, in Japan, MasterCard announced its first full scale roll-out of PayPass in collaboration with Orient Corporation and IKSPIARI Co., and celebrated the launch of a pilot program with Pocket Card Co. Ltd and ITOCHU Enex Co. Ltd in Japan. In February, MasterCard collaborated with Fransabank in Lebanon to pilot a smart credit card enhanced with PayPass.

“In order to make MasterCard PayPass a success, we need to ensure that issuance and acceptance of PayPass is synchronized. Our collaborations in each of our markets, therefore, demonstrate the need to provide consumers with a fast, convenient and secure alternative to cash. With this, we look forward to working closely with everyone in the payments value chain, such as our customer financial institutions and merchants to provide consumers with ‘The Simpler Way to Pay,” added Ghaidan.

The broad range of merchants that have begun accepting or trialing PayPass across the region includes; transportation, supermarkets, cafés, apparel and footwear boutiques, departmental stores, services stations, as well as video and DVD rental stores.

As a pioneer and strong advocate of contactless payment solutions globally, MasterCard in collaboration with its customer financial institutions has, to date, issued more than 7 million PayPass cards and devices with approximately 30,000 merchants accepting PayPass.

Since October 2004 with the launch of the first trial in Japan, MasterCard PayPass pilots, programs and collaborations announced in the region include:

  • In June 2006, MasterCard in conjunction with Chinatrust Commercial Bank announced the launch of the world’s first watch equipped with MasterCard PayPass. The limited edition Chinatrust MasterCard PayPass watch was issued as a companion device to MasterCard credit cards. The watch has a sporty exterior that showcases soccer ball images on its face and will be offered to consumers in three vibrant colors–green, blue and orange.

  • As at end of June 2006, 31,000 MasterCard Paypass phones were part of the Korean Mobile phone program. The payment solution launched 20,000 pre-paid MasterCard Paypass cards and was accepted at over 100 merchant locations.

  • In May 2006, OTI announced that it would provide Taipei Fubon Bank a MasterCard PayPass 3D soccer-themed key chain. Taipei Fubon Bank offered this new device to its customers as part of their 2006 FIFA World Cup™ promotion.

  • In April 2006, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) announced in collaboration with MasterCard the launch of its PayPass pilot program in Australia.

  • In April 2006, MasterCard announced its first full scale roll-out of its PayPass contactless payment program in collaboration with Orient Corporation and IKSPIARI Co. Ltd. In addition to this, MasterCard, Pocket Card Co. Ltd and ITOCHU Enex Co. Ltd also celebrated the launch of a PayPass pilot program in Japan.

  • MasterCard in collaboration with MBF Cards (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd launched the world’s first MasterCard FIFA World Cup™ card which includes the OneSmart™ MasterCard PayPass application in February 2006;

  • In February 2006, Fransabank in Lebanon cooperated with MasterCard to pilot a smart credit card enhanced with PayPass.

  • In February 2006, MasterCard brought the internationally accepted OneSmart MasterCard PayPass EMV solution to Malaysia and signed on more than 30 merchant chains;

  • Payment Solutions and MasterCard announced the pilot launch of PayPass in Thailand in December 2005. Major Cineplex, Thailand’s leading cinema and entertainment complex, became the first local merchant to accept MasterCard PayPass cards;

  • MasterCard unveiled a list of merchant outlets in Taiwan to 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 OneSmart MasterCard 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.

For years, MasterCard has been the industry innovator in contactless payments. From consumer research and development efforts to conducting market trials and standardizing communications protocols for contactless payments, MasterCard has paved the way for the increasing demand and successful roll-out of PayPass globally. In January 2006, MasterCard was awarded Frost & Sullivan’s “2006 Market Penetration Leadership Award” in recognition of its success in leading the contactless payment market with its innovative PayPass program. Other awards received include the “Most Significant Implementation” award by Card Technology and “Best Transportation Application” at the 2005 CARTES Sesames Awards.

About MasterCard Worldwide

MasterCard Worldwide advances global commerce by providing a critical economic link between financial institutions, businesses, cardholders and merchants worldwide. As a franchisor, processor and advisor, MasterCard develops and markets payment solutions, processes more than 16 billion payments each year, and provides industry-leading analysis and consulting services to financial institution customers and merchants. Through its family of brands, including MasterCard®, Maestro® and Cirrus®, MasterCard Worldwide serves consumers and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. For more information go to