PayPass contactless payment network now has nearly 700,000 merchant locations in 51 countries
Australia, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, New Zealand, South Africa and UAE key contributors to growth
MASTERCARD Worldwide has announced record growth of its contactless payments technology, MasterCard PayPass, across the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa (APMEA) region in 2012, citing a 28% year-on-year (YoY) increase in merchant locations.
The PayPass contactless payment network now boasts nearly 700,000 merchant locations in 51 countries as of the fourth quarter of 2012, MasterCard said in a statement.
The growth reflects a strong demand from consumers for a fast and convenient alternative to cash for everyday purchases in the region, including those in emerging markets like Vietnam, which last month launched contactless payments for the first time, the company said.
Australia, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, New Zealand, South Africa and United Arab Emirates were credited as key contributors to growth in the APMEA region, and hotbeds for innovation in contactless payments.
In Australia, more than one-in-10 card transactions under A$100 is now being made with PayPass;
In New Zealand, all new consumer credit and debit cards issued are enabled with PayPass, while consumer-led demand for contactless technology drove uptake among the country’s most popular retailers, including Bunnings, Kmart, The Warehouse, Resene, Repco, and BP; and
In the United Arab Emirates, MasterCard collaborated with Network International, the region’s leading acquirer, to expand its contactless payments infrastructure, installing MasterCard PayPass terminals across more than 1,000 stores in 2012, and paving the way for contactless mobile payments in the region.
Strong growth in merchant locations was made possible through strategic collaborations, including those with Coles and Woolworths supermarkets in Australia, NTT DOCOMO in Japan, and E.Sun Bank in Taiwan, MasterCard said.
Last month MasterCard Worldwide and Vietnam Export Import Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Eximbank) announced the launch of contactless cards enabled by MasterCard PayPass with hundreds of merchant acceptance locations countrywide.
A first for Vietnam, the availability of contactless payments marks a significant milestone in the country’s payments industry. Under the partnership with Eximbank, all existing customers will be converted to PayPass cardholders.
Vietnam has made notable progress in recent months in its goal towards an increasingly ‘cashless’ society, partly due to an initiative from the government which aims to reduce cash payment to below 11% of total transactions, and have some 250,000 card-accepting merchants and 200 million transactions per year by 2015.
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