MasterCard Gives European Merchants A Deadline To Go Contactless At The POS

MasterCard has set a 2020 deadline for all European merchants to replace their existing point-of-sale terminals with devices that can handle contactless payments, Finextra reported on Wednesday (Sept. 10).

The card brand has started the clock on a two-phase shift to contactless as a standard by requiring that all new point-of-sale terminals deployed starting Jan. 1, 2016, must be capable of accepting “tap and pay” cards. Existing POS devices can be replaced at end of their normal useful life, but no later than Jan. 1, 2020.

The new requirements are specifically aimed at getting more merchants capable of accepting payments through phones with near field communications (NFC) capabilities. MasterCard’s announcement came hard on the heels of Apple’s unveiling of its NFC-based Apple Pay payments system in the U.S., which MasterCard is supporting.

Chris Kangas, MasterCard’s head of contactless payments Europe, said that the number of European MasterCard and Maestro contactless transactions tripled in 2013, while value spent in those transactions quadrupled. He added that the liability shift will help fast-track the move to mobile payments in Europe, pointing out that, by 2018, two-thirds of mobile phones are expected to be NFC-enabled.


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