People CIO Focus

Watch: Vikas Saraogi on how Mastercard is taking contactless payments to tier 3 cities

Although the Covid-19 pandemic has increased demand for contactless payments, the penetration of these solutions stands at only 15% in India. 

In an attempt to increase the adoption of contactless payments in India, New York headquartered financial services firm Mastercard is focussing on taking digital payments to tier-3 cities and the digitally backward areas through a new point of sale solution.

In June this year, Mastercard launched its Soft POS solution that can transform smartphones into merchant point of sale terminals. The solution, which is available to all banks and payment aggregators in the industry, cuts merchant onboarding time from 3-4 weeks to under 30 minutes. 

“The business owners can also create a digital avatar of their store with a digital catalogue of their goods on the application, through which users can shop,” Vikas Saraogi, vice president -merchant acceptance, South Asia –Mastercard said in an interview with TechCircle.

A new study from Mastercard shows that there was a 19% increase in contactless cards issued in the first quarter of 2020 compared to  the fourth quarter of 2019. In terms of cities, the top five were Bengaluru at 16%, Delhi and NCR at 12%, Chennai at 7% and Mumbai at 6%.

Watch: Arvind Ronta on how the pandemic has put contactless payments in overdrive at Visa

Mastercard has also introduced a partnership with Indian RegTech startup Signzy to implement a video-based Know Your customer solution which will help clients onboard in a paperless, remote and secure manner. Backed by artificial intelligence and machine learning, the solution also features security protocols to prevent unauthorised system intrusion or attempted fraud.

On October 14, Mastercard announced a small business support coalition, along with the confederation of All India traders to educate small merchants and Kirana store owners on government approved protocols.