Frequently asked questions
Question What is MasterCard PayPass?
Answer MasterCard PayPass is a new "contactless" way to pay. It's like having the exact change wherever you go. A simple tap of your card is all it takes to pay at the checkout for items under £10.
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Question How do PayPass cards work?

MasterCard PayPass cards feature a chip and a radio frequency antenna embedded in the card. When you tap your MasterCard PayPass card against a PayPass-enabled reader, your card transmits payment details wirelessly, eliminating the need to insert your card and enter a PIN code.

Account details are communicated to the reader and then processed through the secure MasterCard acceptance network in the usual way. Moments after you tap the reader with your MasterCard PayPass card, you receive payment confirmation and you’re on your way.

A typical PayPass transaction follows three easy steps:

Step 1:

Look for the MasterCard PayPass or international acceptance symbol (see fig 1 below), indicating that the retailer accepts PayPass purchases.

When you are ready to pay, ask the merchant to ring up the sale.

Step 2:

If the purchase is £10 or less, tap your MasterCard PayPass card against the PayPass reader. The contactless symbol (see Fig. 1) shows you where to tap your card.

Fig. 1 - International symbol for contactless payments

PayPass locator

After tapping your card at a PayPass enabled terminal or reader, it transmits payment details wirelessly, eliminating the need for you to hand your card to a cashier or enter your card into the card reader and input a PIN code.

The PayPass reader indicates that the card has been read with visual and sound cues. Then, within seconds, the reader signals authorisation of the purchase. You can ask the retailer for a receipt, if so desired.Account details are communicated to the terminal and are then processed in the normal manner.

Moments after you tap the terminal, your payment is confirmed and you’re on your way.

Step 3:

You’ve tapped your payment, and you’re on your way.

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Question Is there a fee involved with PayPass?
Answer This functionality is an enhancement to your existing account relationship with your issuer and therefore will come under the terms and conditions of the account as defined by your issuer.
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Question How can I get one?
Answer Cardholders with participating banks will automatically receive a PayPass enabled credit and/or debit card as part of the usual re-issuance cycle as their cards reach their expiry date. A number of banks have announced their intention to issue contactless cards, including Bank of Scotland, Barclaycard, Citi, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds TSB and Royal Bank of Scotland Group.
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Question Can I get a PayPass card if I live outside of London?
Answer Each issuer participating in the London launch has identified potential cardholders for upgrade to live or regularly shop within the London launch area. If in doubt please contact your issuer. For the proposed national rollout each issuer will determine their own strategy, this could be a natural replacement upon expiry or a targeted geographic replacement. Please contact your issuer for more information on their plans or to request a card.
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Question When will PayPass be available outside of London?
Answer The UK rollout is scheduled to take place throughout 2008.
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Question Where else can I use PayPass? Can it be used abroad?
Answer PayPass is a global trend! You can now Tap and Go™ with PayPass in 13 countries worldwide: the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Turkey, Lebanon, Malaysia, Australia, Taiwan, the Philippines, and South Africa. Accepted wherever you see the international contactless acceptance symbol.
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Question Can I use any card at the PayPass terminal, what if I have a VISA card?
Answer All contactless terminals will accept all cards, including VISA PayWave.
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Question How safe is PayPass?

PayPass features a secure Chip and radio antenna embedded in each card, meaning consumers benefit from the same state-of-the-art technology that underpins Chip-and-PIN.

PayPass technology also incorporates special security to prevent “replay” fraud when a PayPass programme is implemented as recommended by MasterCard.

When the card registers multiple consecutive contactless transactions, the cardholder is asked to insert it and enter the PIN code regardless of the purchase amount. This precaution confirms that the user is in fact the rightful user, limiting any potential fraud should the card be lost or stolen.

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Question Are consumers liable for fraud with PayPass?
Answer We do not expect in normal circumstances that the cardholder will be held accountable for any misuse of their cards, as with current practice for most misuse of existing cards. However for confirmation and further information please consult in the terms and conditions of your account supplied by your issuer.
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Question What if I still have questions?
Answer If you still have questions around PayPass and contactless payments, please call your bank directly.
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Question I am a PayPass accepting merchant who wishes to be excluded from the PayPass Locator. Who can I contact?

Merchants who wish to decline participation in the PayPass Merchant Locator program may contact MasterCard by way of the Location Services Call Center directly.

Merchant representatives will be expected to provide the following information.

  • Merchant representative or contact name
  • Name of the business (i.e. “Doing Business As” name)
  • Business location or address to be removed (one or more)
  • Telephone number or email address for call back confirmation

Location Services Call Center:

Phone 1-800-398-4150 (for the United States and Canada regions)
1-636-722-4050 (for all other regions)

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