MasterCard says the first trials in Europe of its contactless EMV credit payments technology are being launched in France, while a UK pilot of its contactless debit payments system by the Royal Bank of Scotland is being extended.
MasterCard says a trial of its EMV-enabled mobile payments technology is being launched in Strasbourg by a seven company-strong consortium, including Groupe Crédit Mutuel, CIC and NRJ Mobile, to enable 200 residents to make contactless payments via mobile phones at 50 retailers in the city.
The specially designed phones from Sagem Communications will contain EMV-compatible SIM cards from Gemalto, contactless readers from Sagem Monetel and Near Field Communication electronic chips designed by Inside Contactless.
Meanwhile in Toulouse, LaSer Cofinoga, the consumer finance arm of Groupe Galeries Lafayette, is conducting trials of MasterCard's contactless payment card with 1000 customers who will be able to use the technology to pay for purchases at participating Galeries Lafayette and Monoprix stores throughout the city.
Furthermore, in the UK RBS, which is currently conducting the first Maestro PayPass trial in Europe at its Edinburgh headquarters, will be extending the project to its London offices.
This follows a time-and-motion study of the Edinburgh experience, says MasterCard, in which six participating merchants – including Starbucks, a restaurant, a delicatessen, a chemist and a social club – found that Maestro PayPass could halve the time taken for a cash transaction, making a payment possible in less than five seconds.
In a separate move MasterCard has launched a new pre-paid payment card aimed at the migrant community in the UK.
The 'Unique' chip and pin card is aimed at people who have just moved to the UK that do not have access to regular banking facilities.
The card is issued by Broadcastle Bank and can be loaded with funds at any UK post office.