Tuesday, September 20, 2005

MasterCard gets clever

I just read an article on The New Zealand Herald website about the new type of cards MasterCard are launching. They are called "pay pass" cards and are expected to be in circulation of 4 million people by the years end. What is a pay pass card? Well they are equiped with a radio frequency chip that allows the user to wave the card at machine readers at till point and petrol pumps without actually having to hand it over for purchases. Definately an interesting concept. Citibank, HSBC, and Key Bank are offering them to customers in America already. But I wonder how useful this will be until the merchants are up and running with the right equipment to accept these sorts of cards. I assume the said banks have changed their retail customers machines over to accept these new and innovative cards. In New Zealand we are slowly starting to develop into chip cards, but they still require inserting into the machine. I discovered this when the EFTPOS machine at work was swapped to be able to accept the chip cards. I am not entirely sure what the difference entails, but I think it is largely to do with safety of cards and the ability to track them if they are stolen? So MasterCard seem to be coming up with the solution to forgetting credit cards in shops and petrol stations by allowing the card to never actually leave your hands. This definately puts one up on MasterCards major rivals such as Visa and American Express, and I do think that this will become the standard form of payment in the future.


At 9:57 PM, Blogger Spivey said...

This is amusing to me since just a couple of days ago i got a noticed from KeyBank that i was getting this new card. I couldnt have been anymore upset. I understand the range on the cards, but regardless i dont like something where i could accedently brush up against a till machine and suddenly get charged for something. I rather like having to pull the card out and slide the crappy card and all. However in KeyBanks case, thier card is so crappy that the mag stripe breaks off after less than a year of having the card and they charge 5 US bucks to get a new one. Thats ABSURD. So i guess i should be happy i can just leave it in my wallet and wave my wallet at the clerk and tell him bill me then huh? In terms of technology, I think its intresting since we have so many natures of card now, mag stripe, speical coded, RF signal, clear window, and possibly others to prevent duplication and theft and the likes, yet it still becomes a major threat. My thoughts are that MasterCard should work more like Visa towards cutting down on online thefts. Visa is the only card that offers a global password that works for the card so when you make a purchase a window pops up from visa asking for it then visa itself verifies it in a secure manner and then clears the merchant to allow the transaction. Why do the other cards not yet offer this option? Sincerly yours,



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