MasterCard has launched its PayPass contactless payments system in Europe in partnership with Garanti Bank in Turkey.
Garanti bank is issuing 25,000 PayPass 'tap and go' cards to its bonus cardholders.
To make a purchase customers tap their cards on a specially-equipped terminal that utilises a radio frequency chip to complete the transaction. Payment details are communicated to the terminal and then processed through the MasterCard network for clearing and settlement.
MasterCard says Starbucks, Burger King and cinema chain Cinebonus have already signed up to accept the PayPass technology in Turkey.
Javier Perez, president, MasterCard Europe, says: "Contactless payments have a major role to play in the replacement of cash in European commerce and our MasterCard PayPass launch with Garanti Bank is a critical step forward in bringing a fast, convenient and secure alternative to cash to the European market."
Perez says the contactless technology can also change consumer behaviour. According to internal MasterCard data, the average PayPass transaction, credit or debit, is approximately US$20. Consumers also use their payment cards more frequently once those cards become PayPass-enabled, approximately 18% more often on average. Roughly 75% of all PayPass transactions are for purchases below $25 and approximately 45% of all transactions are for purchases below $10.
MasterCard says as of Q2 2006, there are nearly 10 million PayPass cards and devices in the market and approximately 32,000 merchant locations around the world that accept the contactless payment technology.