Mastercard is evolving Contactless Technology with next-generation capabilities for advanced protection

Mastercard contactless technology is evolving with the application of the latest quantum-resistant technologies adopted with next-generation capabilities for advanced protection and convenience. The new enhanced contactless specifications (Ecos) are an industry first and will help ensure that the payments digital landscape evolves with new technologies like quantum computing.

With many banks and providers currently embracing contactless payments, the technology is future-proofed to ensure that consumers will continue to enjoy the same high levels of security and convenience as they do today. By statistics, the contactless penetration rate averaged at 41% for in-person purchase transactions globally in 2020 with a 30% rise compared to 2019.

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Mastercard has been spearheading the transition to contactless payments for years and developing specifications to support industry standardization efforts to help ensure the ecosystem benefits from higher levels of security.

“Contactless is the present and future of in-person payments 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. “

said Ajay Bhalla –– President Cyber & Intelligence at Mastercard.
Mastercard Ajay Bhalla
Ajah Bhalla – The Mastercard President of Cyber & Intelligence

With Ecos, consumers, merchants and financial institutions will benefit from: 

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  • Enhanced Convenience – Over time, we envision that the in-store shopping experience will become increasingly contactless-only. These new specifications will help ensure any device truly can be a payment device, while eliminating the need for a backup swipe or dip of a card.  
  • Enhanced Trust – Ecos leverages new, quantum-resistant technology to deliver next-generation algorithms and cryptographic key strengths while keeping the contactless interaction under half a second. 
  • Enhanced Privacy – The new specifications deliver advanced protection when account information is shared between the card or digital wallet and the checkout terminal. Ecos builds on the increased requirements to support various privacy regulations.

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. This investment complements similar investments in tokens, 3D secure, and click to pay delivering a better consumer and merchant experience. 

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