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Mastercard, Interswitch, Others Launch Contactless Tap-To-Pay Service Via Smart Devices

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Mastercard in collaboration with Interswitch, ProvidusBank, and Thales Group has announced the introduction of a new tap-to-pay service in a move to reduce dependency on cash transactions, and drive the growth of digital payments in Nigeria.

This new service allows cardholders to make faster, more secure, and more convenient in-store payments by tapping their NFC-enabled smart device at any contactless-enabled payment terminal.

The solution works by enabling a connected device such as a smartphone or wearable device to act as a safe and secure payment method in the same way as a physical card.

Speaking at the launch, Country Manager and Area Business Head, West Africa at Mastercard, Ebehijie Momoh said, “The convergence of physical and digital commerce is not in the future, it’s happening now. At Mastercard, we understand that consumers want to make digital payments when, where, and how they want, with the same protection and security offered with a physical card,”

“As a pioneer of mobile commerce innovation, we are excited to work with ProvidusBank to deliver a new payment experience that is both seamless and secure, in turn speeding the adoption of digital payments in Nigeria.”

Managing Director/CEO, ProvidusBank, Walter Akpani, said: “Technology has evolved greatly in sub-Saharan Africa in the last decade with the mobile phone technology playing a significant role in that space. As a Bank, our collaboration with Mastercard and Interswitch to provide additional value through the mobile device is a strategy to leverage existing infrastructure, while delivering simplified payment through their advanced digital and tokenisation services.”

Also commenting on the collaboration, Managing Director, Interswitch Pure pay, Akeem Lawal, said “With the increasing adoption of digital payments, there has been the corresponding need for players in the payments ecosystem to heighten the safety and security of payment platforms and channels. This notion is the underpinning rationale behind Interswitch’s collaboration with Providus Bank, Thales Group, and Mastercard to deliver the tokenization technology, providing an added security layer and ensuring safer and more seamless payment transactions. At Interswitch, we continue to leverage key partnerships that push the boundaries of innovation.”

To use the service, customers need to first digitize their card as a once-off set-up by following instructions in their banking app. Once the card credentials are provisioned to a mobile device, a cardholder can tap to pay simply by opening their banking app, selecting NFC payments, tapping their phone at the Point of Sale, and entering their PIN to complete the transaction. They can also make safe and seamless in-app and e-commerce payments.

Speaking in the same vein, VP Sales Banking and Payments Services at Thales Group, a global leader in advanced technologies, Nassir Ghrous, said: “We are excited to bring our digital security expertise to bear in developing the tokenization solution with innovators such as Interswitch, Providus Bank and Mastercard, to enhance the payment ecosystem in Nigeria. With EMV tokenization, the consumer’s actual 16-digit card number is protected from being exposed online during the transaction.

With Mastercard’s Digital Enablement Service (MDES), and Interswitch’s tokenization capability, ProvidusBank customers can enjoy a new level of convenience, no longer needing a card or a physical wallet during shopping trips.

However, for each transaction, Mastercard’s tokenization and digitization technology replace primary account numbers (PANs) with tokens to provide a faster, more secure, and seamless checkout experience while rendering card numbers useless to fraudsters.

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