Mastercard has announced that it is applying the latest quantum-resistant technologies to develop the next generation of contactless payments.
The new Enhanced Contactless (Ecos) specifications are an industry-first and will help ensure that as the company’s digital landscape evolves, and new technologies like quantum computing are introduced, contactless technology is future-proofed to ensure consumers will continue to enjoy the same high levels of security and convenience.
According to Mastercard, the demand for faster, more convenient, safe and now cleaner ways to pay has driven the transition to contactless and this trend will only continue to grow.
Data quoted by the fintech company shows, in the third quarter of 2020, contactless penetration represented 41% of in-person purchase transactions globally, up 30% from a year ago.
Mastercard has been spearheading the transition to contactless payments for years and developing specifications like Ecos to support industry standardization efforts and help ensure the entire ecosystem benefits from higher levels of security.
“Contactless is the present and future of in-person payments,” said Ajay Bhalla, president, Cyber & Intelligence at Mastercard. “2020 brought with it a rapid acceleration of digitization and reinforced the importance of digital solutions – like contactless – to help meet our everyday needs,”
“As the ecosystem continues to evolve, more connected devices and the Internet of Things are going to create more user demand and an even greater need for constant innovation to build next-generation capability, helping to ensure that technology never outpaces trust,” he added.
With Ecos, consumers, merchants and financial institutions will benefit from: enhanced convenience, enhanced trust and enhanced Privacy
As the new specifications are activated over the coming years, consumers and merchants can expect a seamless transition.
Digital wallets, mobile payments, contactless cards and point-of-sale terminals will continue to work as they do today.
Compatibility with Ecos and current contactless specifications is simple. Ecos works behind the scenes and is delivered via a software upgrade, therefore no new hardware or terminals are required.