MasterCard and Banque Accord trial co-branded contactless cards

Source: MasterCard Europe

MasterCard Europe today emphasised its leadership in contactless payments with the launch of the Continent's first MasterCard PayPass trial involving co-branded cards, in partnership with Banque Accord, the banking arm of French hypermarket chain Auchan.

The initial six-month trial, also involving clothes store Bizbee and restaurant chain Flunch, will take place in Englos, located to the West of Lille, Northern France and provide the basis for a national rollout planned to take place in 2009. A further initial rollout is planned for the second quarter of 2008.

Using MasterCard PayPass, consumers will be able to simply tap their co-branded PayPass card on a specially equipped PayPass terminal to make purchases of under €25 at all participating retailers. The innovative PayPass technology has been designed specifically to ensure small value purchases under this limit can be completed quickly, securely and easily, with consumers no longer needing to fumble for cash, coins or cheques. Larger purchases may require a PIN to be entered into the terminal.

Cathleen Conforti, SVP, Global PayPass at MasterCard Worldwide, said: "The decision by the powerful Banque Accord and Auchan brands to join forces with MasterCard PayPass for this significant trial underscores our position as contactless technology pioneers dedicated to enhancing the payments experience for consumers and merchants alike.

"With more than 19 million MasterCard PayPass cards already accepted at 73, 000 points of sale worldwide and trials currently underway in 20 countries, MasterCard is at the forefront of the drive to displace cash as the only payment choice for low value transaction through the offer of an easy, quick and secure way to pay."

Damien Guermonprez, CEO of Banque Accord said: "I'm delighted to invite as many merchants as possible to participate in the contactless payments revolution as we look forward to rollout during 2008 and beyond. The ability to reduce checkout waiting times by an average of 40% will undoubtedly be music to the ears of hypermarkets, specialised retailers and transport providers alike. PayPass transactions have a crucial role to play in satisfying customers through shorter queues; which also means the opportunity for retailers to boost sales revenues.

Arnaud Mulliez, President of Auchan France, added: "As retailers, the situation is a simple one. We must continually strive to improve our customers' experience and time spent at the checkout is an important part of this. We must be prepared to embrace new ways of achieving this and contactless payment technologies can certainly help us here."

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