Getting Started With Contactless

Start Accepting MasterCard® Contactless



Getting Started With MasterCard Contactless

In this first section, you'll find all the information you need to set the stage for a successful roll-out of today's most advanced—and convenient—payment option.

Introduction

This section provides a quick overview of MasterCard Contactless—how it works, how you and your customers will benefit, and the key requirements for implementation.

Learn More

Planning for Success

Successful initiatives don't just happen, they are planned. That's why we recommend you take the time to develop a comprehensive MasterCard Contactless implementation plan.

Learn More

Conducting the Pre-Implementation Kick-off Meeting

A pre-implementation kick-off meeting is an excellent opportunity to pull together all the resources and stakeholders to discuss the project in its entirety.

Learn More

Essential Documents

Here are some of the documents you should keep on hand throughout the entire implementation process.

Learn More

Introduction

MasterCard® contactless, also known as PayPass, is a payment solution that gives your customers and your business the convenience of making payments without handing over or swiping a payment card. Instead, the customer simply taps their contactless card or device on a contactless terminal

This section provides a quick overview of MasterCard contactless—how it works, how you and your customers will benefit, and the key requirements for implementation.

MasterCard® Contactless Overview

Making payments has never been easier, thanks to MasterCard contactless. All your customers need to do is tap their contactless card or device on a contactless terminal.

The chip and antenna in the device securely transmit payment details wirelessly to a contactless terminal at the point-of-sale.

Account details are communicated directly to the contactless terminal and are then processed through the same acceptance network used for regular credit or debit card transactions. Moments after a consumer taps the terminal with their contactless card or device, they receive payment confirmation and are on their way.

MasterCard PayPass Chip

MasterCard contactless cards look similar to standard MasterCard cards, except that they include the contactless indicator and, as is true for all chip cards, a shorter signature panel on the back. Embedded inside the card is a contactless chip that stores and processes the payment account data and a connected antenna that typically runs around the perimeter of the card.

MasterCard PayPass Card Overview

For detailed information about contactless cards and devices, please refer to the:
MasterCard PayPass Magstripe National Merchant Implementation Requirements Guide.

Should you decide to implement MasterCard contactless, you'll benefit from comprehensive resources and support including:

  • Detailed specifications for all aspects of MasterCard contactless
  • Approval services for vendor products (cards, terminals, and devices) to ensure compliance with the specifications and interoperability
  • Marketing and promotional materials
  • Consumer marketing materials for issuers
  • Merchant POS materials
  • Business and technical support

What is MasterCard contactless?

Is MasterCard Contactless Right for My Business?

MasterCard contactless gives you a unique opportunity to set your business apart from the competition by offering a faster and more convenient payment method. Contactless payments are an excellent choice for environments where speed and convenience are valued such as quick-service restaurants (QSRs), convenience stores, vending machines, tollbooths, taxis, transit, parking venues, etc. As an alternative to cash and check, MasterCard contactless is easier for your customers and potentially more profitable for your business.

MasterCard certified vendors in the marketplace offer a number of hardware solutions, all designed to work with existing devices and minimize changes to software. To determine whether MasterCard contactless will work in your environment, consider the following factors:

  • Contactless Terminal. If you accept payment cards, implementing contactless payments involves adding contactless terminals or readers to existing POS equipment, such as Electronic Cash Registers (ECRs) and magnetic stripe terminals. If you do not currently accept payment cards, implementing MasterCard contactless involves installing new contactless readers or terminals.
  • High-Speed Connection. To maximize the benefits of MasterCard contactless, you will need a high-speed authorization line (such as DSL, V-SAT, leased line, cable modem) that supports authorization time of less than 4 seconds.
  • ECR (Electronic Cash Register). If you use separate ECR and POS terminals, they will have to be connected. This integration eliminates the need for dual-amount entry and is a key time-saver in the contactless transaction process.
  • Fast Receipt Printer. While changes to the ECR may not be required, you should consider adding a printer that generates receipts in less than two seconds. This will help you maximize the key benefits of speed and convenience.

Connection Reliability

Planning for Success

Successful initiatives don't just happen, they are planned. That's why we recommend you take the time to develop a comprehensive contactless implementation plan. There are several key steps to take during the planning process, from defining the scope and setting objectives to identifying the required resources and developing a timeline.

Defining the Scope

Here are some questions to ask to help you identify the parameters of your contactless implementation:

  • If you are a national, regional, local, or multi-chain store, how many stores do you want to enable?
  • Which POS lanes should be MasterCard contactless enabled—all lanes or only express lanes?
  • Is this a full rollout or just a pilot?
  • Are you enabling corporate-owned or franchise-owned locations?
  • Are you planning a POS upgrade? If so, you might only enable upgraded stores.
  • Will your current POS configuration support MasterCard contactless?
  • Who will do the installations? Will you hire a third-party installer or do you have an IT Department?
  • For MasterCard Debit transactions, will you accept PIN and signature transactions or just signature transactions?
  • If you are a gas/convenience store operator, will you enable "In Store' only or include gas pumps?
  • Are you working against a fixed timeline? (e.g.: PCI compliance, equipment end of life).
  • Do you have a returns area, returns desk, or customer service desk? If so, these will need to be PayPass-enabled as customers will need to be able to complete returns using their PayPass enabled card or device.

Setting Objective

As you begin your implementation, it's important to identify and focus on your key business objectives. Your objectives will differ based on where you are in the contactless implementation cycle, i.e. whether you are implementing contactless for the first time or are upgrading or expanding your footprint. Common objectives include:

  • Increase customer satisfaction by decreasing wait time.
  • Gain or maintain a competitive edge by upgrading existing POS to the latest technology.
  • Enhance in-store productivity.

Identify Required Resources/Stakeholders

Your decision about whom to involve in contactless implementation will depend on a variety of factors—many of which you identified in Defining the Scope. Some implementations will involve many internal functions. Here are some resources to consider leveraging as you plan your implementation:

  • Project Champion. Usually a senior member of management, responsible for guiding the project through to completion. Makes decisions on behalf of the company and has fiduciary authority when related expenses are identified.
  • Project Manager. Ultimate responsibility for completing the project. Pulls together the appropriate resources, communicates to the project team, provides status updates to management, and completes the project on time and within budget.
  • IT Manager. Coordinates the resources and processes needed to complete any hardware/software changes and handles any testing of changes in the POS environment.
  • Network Manager. Communicates transaction authorization and clearing needs to the acquirer(s), making sure to include all networks that will process contactless transactions (i.e. credit, debit signature, debit PIN).
  • Finance Manager. Handles budget considerations, along with the sending and receiving of payments through the POS. Also generates any needed volume or usage reports on MasterCard contactless transactions.
  • Trainer. Creates training material and a training strategy to ensure that all cashiers or customer service personnel can identify MasterCard contactless cards and devices and complete contactless transactions.
  • Marketing Manager. Generates any public communications, such as press releases, and/or develops marketing strategies to make customers aware of MasterCard contactless acceptance.

Conducting the Pre-Implementation Kick-off Meeting

A pre-implementation kick-off meeting is an excellent opportunity to pull together all the resources and stakeholders you've decided on to discuss the project in its entirety. This meeting will give you a chance to review project goals and objectives and reach consensus. It will also help you identify any additional implementation requirements. When planning a pre-implementation kick-off meeting, consider the following:

Creating a Project Plan

The main focus of the team meeting should be to identify the key steps needed to ensure implementation success. Key steps should include the following:

Project Manager1. Assign a Project Manager
Although MasterCard contactless has been designed to minimize installation-related tasks, a focused effort led by a qualified project manager will help to ensure an efficient and effective implementation. For single-location implementations, the project manager might be a store manager; for nationwide chains, you might need a dedicated project manager and a support team.

2. Obtain MasterCard Contactless Documentation
Be sure to review best practices deployment information at www.mastercard.com/contactless. Acquirer may request access to contactless specifications by sending an email to contactless@mastercard.com.

3. Develop Site-Specific Implementation Plans
Anticipate and plan for the challenges that each site implementation may present. Questions to consider include:

  • Which checkout lanes should be MasterCard PayPass enabled—all lanes, or only express lanes?
  • Do you have a returns area, returns desk, or customer service desk? These must also be PayPass-enabled.
  • What electrical considerations need to be addressed? Is there enough power at the register to support a reader and/or high speed printer?
  • Is high-speed internet available at the register? A high-speed connection is highly recommended to ensure speed and convenience.
  • Is there room at the register for a reader? Will you need a pedestal to raise the reader off the counter?
  • Can the consumer read/reach the reader/terminal?
  • Will you enable the drive-thru and gas pumps?
  • What marketing and collateral materials are best for each location?

4. Select an Appropriate MasterCard Contactless POS Solution

  • Select Hardware.Implementing MasterCard contactless involves adding contactless terminals or readers to existing POS equipment, replacing existing POS terminals with ones that have integrated contactless capabilities, or installing new POS equipment configured to support contactless payments.
  • Selecting Hardware

  • Obtain High-Speed Data Connections.MasterCard highly recommends that MasterCard contactless be installed with high-speed authorization connections.

For more detailed information on selecting an appropriate POS solution, visit Determining POS/ECR Requirements in the Identifying Requirements section.

5. Install and Test Equipment
Installation procedures will be dependent on each individual merchant's situation. Here are three typical scenarios and what to consider for each:

  • ECR with connected Magnetic Stripe Card Reader.In this scenario the ECR in place contains a magnetic stripe card reader, has high speed internet for authorization and a high speed receipt printer. To enable this equipment to accept contactless, follow these four steps:
    • Add a MasterCard contactless terminal or reader that plugs into an open port on the existing ECR. A list of compatible terminals and readers can be found in the documentation section at www.mastercard.com/contactless.
    • Update the software in the ECR or its controller to add the device driver for the contactless terminal or reader. This is usually supplied and/or installed by the terminal vendor or the acquirer.
    • Work with the acquirer to ensure that MasterCard contactless transactions are coded to indicate terminal capability and transaction type (contactless or magnetic stripe).
    • Perform end-to-end test transactions. Acquirers can provide test cards and scripts. For more information, please visit the Testing section.
  • ECR with connected card terminal/PIN pad.In this scenario the ECR in place has an attached magnetic stripe card reader and/or PIN pad, high speed internet for authorization, and a high speed receipt printer. To enable this equipment to accept contactless, follow these four steps:
    • Add a contactless reader that plugs directly into the peripheral terminal or connects directly into an open port on the ECR. A list of compatible terminals and readers can be found in the documentation section at www.mastercard.com/contactless.
    • Confirm that the card terminal/PIN pad software has been upgraded before adding the contactless terminal driver, which should be installed or supplied by the vendor or the acquirer.
    • Ensure that contactless transactions are correctly coded to indicate terminal capability and transaction type (contactless or magnetic stripe). Acquirers can provide assistance with coding.
    • Test transactions. Acquirers can provide test cards and scripts. For more information, please visit the Testing section.

    ECR with connected Magnetic Stripe Card Reader

  • ECR that does not interface with the card terminal (i.e., dual entry).
    In this situation, the ECR is not connected to the card terminal, re-keying the transaction amount into the terminal is required, or there is a slow dial-up connection for authorization and a slow receipt printer. In these situations, equipment upgrades are required to support MasterCard contactless acceptance. Merchants should contact their acquirer for information and assessment of their POS environment.

ECR that does not interface with the card terminal (dual entry)

6. Test
Conduct end-to-end test transactions for all payment types (credit, signature debit, and PIN debit). Acquirers may be able to provide a test card kit that includes test procedures. For more information, please visit the Testing section.

7. Add MasterCard Contactless Identification to Transaction Reports
To measure the impact of MasterCard contactless, a merchant should request contactless transaction reports from their acquirer. Acquirers can help determine a merchant's analytical needs and recommend reports.

8. Develop and Conduct Training
There are simple but fundamental differences between contactless and traditional cards, both in the way consumers use a contactless card or device and the way merchant staff processes a payment. These differences need to be understood by the POS staff dealing directly with consumers. For more information, please visit Train Employees in the Development and Training section.

Essential Documents

Here are some of the documents a merchant should keep on hand throughout the entire implementation process. Simply click on the document below to download.

PayPass Magstripe National Merchant Implementation Requirements Guide

This guide helps MasterCard merchants:

In this first section, you'll find all the information you need to set the stage for a successful roll-out of today's most advanced—and convenient—payment option.

  • Understand, implement, and support MasterCard contactless card acceptance
  • Explain the differences between MasterCard contactless cards or devices and traditional magnetic stripe cards
  • Realize the business benefits of contactless across various processing and support scenarios
  • Plan and implement a successful implementation

The MasterCard Contactless Toolkit For Merchants

In the toolkit, you'll find everything you need to successfully roll-out acceptance of today's most advanced and convenient payment option, including FAQ's, implementation steps, best practices, and links to other resources.

Quick Payment Service Program Guide

This guide explains the MasterCard Quick Payments Service (QPS) program. The QPS program helps to facilitate payments acceptance in industry segments where the point of service is typically cash-based and in which speed is crucial to the sale. Eligible merchant segments vary by region. See Appendix A, Chargeback Protection Amounts (in the QPS Guide) for a comprehensive listing of eligible merchant categories and merchant category codes (MCCs).

MasterCard Contactless and Maestro Contactless Approved Readers

This link contains information regarding MasterCard contactless and Maestro contactless approved readers and terminals.

FAQs

This link contains the questions most often asked regarding MasterCard Contactless.

Read the FAQs