MasterCard Europe has partnered with Turkish bank TEB to pilot a debit card containing a digital display window that can be used for authentication and to give customers account information.
TEB, a BNP Paribas subsidiary, will hand over the 'display cards' to customers with a Maestro eCommerce authentication programme that kicks off in July.
Tapping technology from Swiss-based security specialist NagraID Security, the card has a small display window and touch-sensitive button. The cardholder can see information - numbers and/or text - on the display, such as a dynamic passcode, an account balance or spending limit.
TEB will initially launch a card with authentication functionality before adding more features. The UK's Newcastle Building Society has also committed to the first pilot of the balance display functionality later this year.
Jorn Lambert, group head, core products, MasterCard Europe, says: "The card truly encapsulates our belief that simple to use technology is the key to unlocking the door to simpler cash-free payments. Consumers are telling us that ease of use, control and security are required to replace costly cash. This card can deliver the levels of both information and security they seek."
Meanwhile, MasterCard Worldwide has launched a US iPhone and iPad app for its P2P money transfer system, MoneySend. The system lets users send or request money via their iPhone through participating banks and credit unions, or when they create a virtual prepaid account through Bancorp Bank that is linked to an existing MasterCard payment card or checking account.
Back in Europe, research commissioned by MasterCard shows the value of the European open loop pre-paid card market is expected to see an average annual increase of 26% between now and 2017, when it will hit $156 billion.
The research, conducted by Boston Consulting Group, predicts that the UK will remain the largest market for prepaid cards in Europe, accounting for 25%, with Italy making up another 20%.
According to the research, however, it is the less economically developed, cash based prepaid markets within Europe that will see the highest rates of growth between now and 2017, as they increasingly adopt pre-paid. For example, the value of the Nordic market is expected to increase by an average of 44% annually to reach $9.3 billion and the Central and Eastern European region by 42% each year to reach $10.1 billion.
The adoption of pre-paid by governments in Europe is a key driver in boosting the size of the market, reaching $43 billion by 2017, with $18 billion of this expected to stem from the UK public sector.
The research also finds the roll out of pre-paid by corporates will grow rapidly, with their replacement of lunch vouchers a surprisingly big factor - worth $8 billion by 2017.
Matthew Lanford, head, pre-paid Europe, MasterCard, says: "Prepaid is coming of age in Europe and is becoming an established part of everyday life. The economic downturn has made corporates, governments and consumers throughout Europe focus harder on money management. Prepaid offers them an ideal solution with to exert far greater control over how their money is spent."