Merchants and retailers may soon be able to accept contactless card payments on their phones. Global payments major Mastercard is set to launch a solution in India where a smartphone can become a contactless acceptance device.

“If your phone has NFC, then it can become a point-of-sale (POS) device. A customer can tap the contactless card on the phone,” said Vikas Saraogi, Vice President, Acceptance Development, Mastercard, adding that it is likely to be launched in India in the first half of next year.

Saraogi said the company is speaking to a number of banks to launch the solution, which will then be made available with retailers. “With this innovation, a retailer doesn’t need to invest in the hardware for accepting contactless payments. The phone will be sufficient,” he told BusinessLine .

The solution is part of the company’s campaign to increase contactless payments in the country. Along with issuing contactless cards, it is also readying the acceptance infrastructure. There are already 15 lakh contactless payment acceptance points in the country against the total PoS of about 42.5 lakh.

Mastercard expects to double the contactless payment points to about 30 lakh in the next two years. It has already deployed contactless payment acceptance infrastructure in key categories like quick service restaurants, coffee shops, cinema halls and supermarkets where the ticket size is low.

“With our acquiring partners, banks and companies like PineLabs, we have been able to enable all these key categories and large merchants to contactless already,” Saraogi said, adding that all new devices are by default contactless.

Payments up to Rs 2,000 on contactless cards can be done through tap and go and do not require a two-step authentication.

Manasi Narasimhan, Vice President, Marketing and Communications, Mastercard said the technology therefore has greater utility in cafés and retail shops where customers want to make quick purchases and can just tap and carry on.