Money & Banking

Mastercard to up its game on ‘contactless’ cards in India

KR Srivats New Delhi | Updated on October 16, 2019 Published on October 16, 2019

Mastercard is already nudging its partner banks to issue more contactless cards   -  REUTERS

Across the world, contactless cards have proven to be a significant catalyst in improving consumer stickiness for digital payments

Mastercard, a technology company in the global payments industry, will soon up its game on ‘contactless’ (tap and go) cards in the Indian market, a top official said.

“You will soon see bit more action on ‘contactles’ cards,” Manasi Narasimhan, Vice-President, Marketing and Communications, Mastercard, told BusinessLineon Wednesday.

To begin with, the focus will be on getting more retail chains, including big supermarkets, adopt contactless cards, she said.

“Contactless (will be a focus area for us in the Indian market. The reason we are investing in thisis that given our global experience in other markets, we believe that once contactless becomes a behaviour changing tool, it will transform the ecosystem. It may take two years, three years or even five years, but eventually we will get there,” she said.

Mastercard is already nudging its partner banks to issue more contactless cards, said Manasi. Both the government and RBI also want more such cards to be issued.

Across the world, contactless cards (those with near-field Communication capabilities) have proven to be a significant catalyst in improving consumer stickiness for digital payments. With more banks currently issuing contactless cards, Indian consumers are now experiencing a faster way to pay at supermarkets, dining, entertainment venues, and retailers.

Transit has been Mastercard’s most successful use case worldwide. Recently, Mastercard became the preferred partner for Singapore metro.

As more Indian cities start embracing urban transit, Mastercard expects to ride on the opportunity for contactless cards. With more Indian affluents travelling abroad throughout the year (no longer seasonal travel), Manasi said that efforts would be taken to drive the usage of Mastercard during their overseas trips. Mastercard is now accepted in over 200 countries at over 45 million merchant establishments, she noted.

“We want our Indian customers to use Mastercard not only for domestic purposes, but also during their overseas travel,” said Manasi.

The other areas of marketing focus for Mastercard in the coming days would include driving merchant acceptance, consumer education, and launch of more co branded cards, she added.

Published on October 16, 2019
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