October 19, 2012

MasterCard is moving forward with its PayPass mobile payments initiative in the Middle East, penning a deal regional acquirer Network International to instal more than 1,000 PayPass terminals in the United Arab Emirates by the end of this year. PayPass is a contactless mobile solution that allows customers to tap their card or smartphone in front of a reader to initiate a PayPass payment. The solution is designed to allow for quicker and easier checkouts at merchants.

MasterCard said in a statement that the PayPass network is being developed in conjunction with NFC technology that it will soon launch in the Middle East in partnership with financial institutions there.

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MasterCard said that the new PayPass terminals would be located at popular retailers, coffee shops, restaurants and convenience stores in the UAE. PayPass is specifically designed for the low value transactions that would generally take place at such locations. The card company has been pushing for adoption of contactless payments in the region, noting strong interest in the UAE, Qatar and Lebanon for such technology. To date PayPass is available at about 500,000 locations in 41 countries worldwide, MasterCard said.

Jonathan Camhi is a graduate of the City University of New York's Graduate School of Journalism, where he focused on international reporting and interned at the Hindustan Times in Delhi, ...