Tag Archives: MasterCard

Digital Tokens – The new Holy grail of eTransactions


As the number of eTransactions keeps increasing in our daily financial world, the number of criminals trying to access the customers’ finances is also on the increase.

Yes, there have numerous tools released by Payment Giants to reduce the instances of fraudulent transactions. It is like a cat and mouse race, and when the tips favor the criminals, the shoppers might reduce their eTransactions.

The challenge for Payment Giants is the varied messaging systems, which at times do not talk to each other. Yes, diversity is good, as in case a messaging system is compromised, the risks will be restricted to that messaging system only.

The other part of the coin is oligopoly, which is preferred over Monopoly.

To raise the security barrier for eTransactions, the three major Card issuers i.e Visa, MasterCard and American Express have joined hands.

They have proposed Digital Tokens for online and mobile transactions. The broad guidelines have been finalized, and they are calling on other industry players to support their proposed framework for the new standard, which would be a Global Standard.

The main supporting argument is that the Digital Tokens would make life simpler and safer for customers shopping on a mobile phone, tablet or PC.

The proposed framework would see issuers, merchants and digital wallet providers able to request a token so that when an account holder initiates an online or mobile transaction, the token – and not the traditional card account number – would be used to process, authorize, clear and settle the payment.

The tokens can be customized basing on customer risk preferences i.e tokens could be restricted in how they are used with a specific merchant, device, transaction or category of transactions.

The new framework will be built around existing industry standards to keep the investment to a minimum and also ensure consistency around the world.




Over the coming weeks, the framework will also be presented to other partners and independent industry bodies, such as The Clearing House, PCI Security Standards Council and EMVCo, to align and further advance the standard.

This industry wise collaboration is similar to collaborations for the adoption of Magnetic Stripe, EMV or NFC

Australian Credit Card Holders in near future need not Sign anymore on Merchant Slips


MasterCard and Visa in a joint application to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission have supported PIN only credit card transaction. Both the major card issuers feel that the Signature requirement on Credit Card Slips is the major cause for credit card fraud.

Hence, they have opined that only PIN@POS be adopted to reduce the card fraud. PINs are difficult to be stolen, whereas signatures can easily be forged. Moreover, I am not sure as to how many merchants verify the signature on the card and on the slip. In India, the % is less .05%.

As PIN@POS involves a major infrastructure upgrade, small merchants are very receptive to this idea. Moreover they feel that the transactions volumes might reduce. Mobile eftpos terminals have to be brought or customers have to walk to the cash counter. This should not be a major deterrent, as the mobile eftpos terminals are not that expensive.

However, in India after introduction of an additional factor of authentication for CNP (Card-not-Present) transactions, the value and volume have gone up. Business associations had the same fear, that RBI’s move on CNP transactions would affect eCommerce. But, the Indian consumers are savvier.

Other card issuers like American Express, Diners also support Visa and MasterCard on this. However, American Express is not a signatory to the proposal, as signing the proposal might be viewed as cartelization!!

As it is already Visas’ PayWave, MasterCards’ PayPass, digital wallets, mobile apps, online payments do not use Signature as an authentication tool.


MasterCard to launch PayPass in India. New Tool for a Less Cash society

Mr.Vikas Varma, Area Head-South Asia, MasterCard while chatting with ‘thehindubusinessline’, stated that MasterCard will introduce PayPass features in India very soon.

The main advantage of PayPass is that there is no need to swipe the card.  Instead,  you have to do is ‘Tap & Go’ at any of the PayPass accepting merchants with a PayPass enabled device like a card or a mobile phone, key fob or mobile payment tag.

This should encourage more customers to pay via their MasterCard or Maestro Account, rather than cash or other credit cards.

PayPass can be added to any MasterCard or Maestro account and its ‘Tap &Go’ technology will make payments and checkouts easier.


  • A tiny microchip and radio antenna embedded in a PayPass-enabled device sends out your payment details wirelessly to a PayPass reader at checkout.
  • The reader verifies your transaction with your bank through MasterCard network and indicates approval instantly.

PayPass payments cover mobile devices and computers too.

Worldwide more than 70 devices are currently certified for use with MasterCard Mobile PayPass technology.

When added to mobile devices, MasterCard PayPass will become an innovative contactless payment feature that uses near field communications to provide consumers with a fast, safe and smart way to pay for every day purchases.

The transaction success rates depend on the phone network. Majority of the Merchants do not dedicated telephone lines for Electronic transactions, and depend on their normal phone lines. This affects the TAT and hence customers prefer to pay in cash.

Two BlackBerry models i.e  BlackBerry Bold 9900 and BlackBerry Curve 9360 smartphones are the first SIM-based NFC smartphones to be certified by MasterCard Worldwide as PayPass approved devices.

As this is a contactless payment, users might be apprehensive about the security features. Well, MasterCard WorldWide has the following security features for PayPass devices:

  • Encryption technology
  • PayPass has built-in safeguards to help prevent unwanted purchases:
  1. PayPass device never leaves your hands at checkout
  2. PayPass device must be extremely close to the reader to work
  3. PayPass device  only bills you once – even if you tap twice by mistake

Which bank in India will be the first to adopt PayPass. Will it be ING Vysya Bank, as it has very recently launched Premium Debit Cards in tie-up with MasterCard?