PayPass growth in Asia, Vietnam takes contactless payments at last

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MasterCard Worldwide has reported record growth of its contactless payments technology, MasterCard® PayPass™, across the Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa (APMEA) region in 2012, citing a 28% (YoY) increase in merchant. MasterCard’s PayPass contactless payment network now boasts nearly 700,000 merchant locations in 51 countries as of Q4 2012.

The company says that growth data reflects a strong demand from consumers for contactless payments including those in emerging markets like Vietnam, which last month launched contactless payments for the first time. 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.

Other highlights in the Asia/AsiaPacific region, released by Mastercard, include;

  • In Australia, more than one-in-ten card transactions under $100 is now being made with PayPass.
  • In Singaporetransactions made using PayPass at last year’s Great Singapore Sale (GSS) grew 100-fold, with total spend up by more than 54%.
  • In New Zealand, all new consumer credit and debit cards issued are enabled with PayPass. Consumer-led demand for contactless technology drove uptake among the country’s most popular retailers, including Bunnings, Kmart, The Warehouse, Resene, Repco, and BP.
  • In United Arab EmiratesMasterCard collaborated with Network International, the region’s leading acquirer, to expand its contactless payments infrastructure, installing MasterCard PayPass terminals across more than 1000 stores in 2012, and paving the way for contactless mobile payments in the region.

Mastercard admits that trong 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. Merchants are also seeing real impact to their bottom line.

Earlier this month MasterCard Worldwide and leading Vietnamese bank, 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. PayPass cardholders in Vietnam will now be able to make contactless payments at hundreds of merchant locations nationwide, as well as outside of the country, anywhere MasterCard PayPass is accepted.

Mrs Dinh Thi Thu Thao, Deputy CEO of Vietnam Export Import Commercial Joint Stock Bank said: “The launch of MasterCard PayPass is a big step for Vietnam’s payments industry and for its financial system, which is moving increasingly towards a reduction in cash payments. We’re proud to be the first financial institution in the country to facilitate the shift towards a contactless payments ecosystem.”

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 percent of total transactions, and have some 250,000 card-accepting merchants and 200 million transactions per year by 2015.

“By providing consumers in Vietnam with a simple, secure way to pay for small ticket items that consumers purchase most, we hope to play a role in helping the country achieving its goal of reducing cash payments over the next few years” said Anton Corro, Country Manager & Chief Representative, Indochina at MasterCard Worldwide. “MasterCard is committed to developing innovations that address current and future payment needs of people and governments around the world. The rollout of PayPass in Vietnam is a reflection of our bullish approach to driving the uptake of new technology and innovation in Southeast Asia’s emerging markets.”

Initial PayPass-enabled merchants in Vietnam include fast food restaurants, convenient stores, and super markets.

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