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Louise Herbert MasterCard Worldwide +32-2352-5647

MasterCard Launches Europe's First Watch Equipped with PayPass Technology

Garanti Bank to Issue Limited Edition Watches in Turkey

Istanbul, Turkey, May 07, 2007 - MasterCard Worldwide today announced the launch of Europe's first watch equipped with MasterCard® PayPass™ contactless technology, in partnership with Garanti Bank in Turkey. This contemporary form factor for PayPass - which heralds a new era for credit payments in Europe - will make paying for small-value items quicker and more convenient than fumbling for coins.

Consumers can simply tap their new watches on the PayPass reader to make the equivalent of a credit card purchase at more than 600 merchant locations in Turkey, including major names such as Burger King, Starbucks, Cinebonus, TAV (İstanbul Atatürk Airport Otopark), and the İstanbul Ferry Corporation. The PayPass watch allows users to make purchases under 15 euros, with no signature or PIN required. Larger purchases will still require a signature.

The new development is an extension of Europe's first MasterCard PayPass credit programme, which was launched with Garanti Bank in Turkey in June 2006, when the 'Garanti Bonus Trink' card with PayPass was launched.

The issuance of PayPass watches in Europe follows the launch in June 2006 of the world's first watch equipped with MasterCard PayPass in Asia, to coincide with the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. That limited edition watch was created in collaboration with Chinatrust, LAKS GmbH and On Track Innovations and issued in Taiwan as a companion device to MasterCard credit cards.

Cathleen Conforti, Global PayPass Product Manager, MasterCard Worldwide, said: “Contactless payments have a major role to play in the replacement of cash in European commerce. The launch of a highly innovative payment device like this watch in partnership with Garanti Bank is just one of the ways we are bringing fast, convenient and secure alternatives to cash to the European market.”

Conforti continued: “MasterCard's contactless payment technology is revolutionary because it has the ability to change consumer behaviour. In various parts of the world today our PayPass feature is in use in non-card forms, such as key fobs, wristbands and mobile phones, offering consumers a broad range of payment alternatives where speed, flexibility and convenience are essential. Without question, the days of cumbersome cash as king are numbered.”

Speaking last week at Cardist, Turkey's first international card technologies fair in Istanbul, Dr. Toni Merschen, Group Head, Chip, MasterCard Worldwide, said: “Garanti Bank was the first bank in Europe to launch a MasterCard PayPass credit programme, and we are proud that its success has resulted in the expansion of our partnership. Once again, the spotlight will be on Turkey to see how the PayPass watches will fare in traditionally cash-only environments. Our research shows that PayPass is what consumers want to have and use and we are confident that MasterCard and Garanti are once again at the forefront of innovation.”

Mehmet Sezgin, General Manager, Garanti Payment Systems, said: “After the successful launch last year of Europe's first PayPass credit programme with MasterCard, we are very excited to expand our partnership with an alternative to the traditional payments card. Turkey is a market where there is a strong consumer demand for innovation in the payments industry and Garanti Bank is dedicated to staying at the forefront of this curve and provide our customers with solutions that make their lives' easier.”

Strong consumer demand
Since its launch, MasterCard data shows that the average MasterCard PayPass transaction, credit or debit, is approximately US$20. Consumers also use their payment cards more frequently once these cards are MasterCard PayPass-enabled – approximately 18% more often on average. Roughly 75% of all PayPass transactions are for purchases below US$25 and approximately 45% are for purchases below US$10.

As of Q1 2007, there are more than 14 million MasterCard PayPass cards and devices in the market that are accepted at more than 51,000 merchant locations globally, including McDonald's, Starbucks, 7 Eleven, CVS, Duane Reade, Sheetz and Regal Entertainment Group. Interest in PayPass has not been limited to retail establishments. The technology has proved popular in sports facilities and MasterCard PayPass is now accepted in many Major League Baseball and National Football League stadiums, as well as at numerous golf events.

For more information about MasterCard PayPass, visit www.mastercard.com/paypass.  

About MasterCard Europe
MasterCard Europe is the entity responsible for managing MasterCard Worldwide’s business in Europe - for Europe. With headquarters in Waterloo, Belgium, MasterCard Europe works with 51 European countries organized administratively into three customer areas, incorporating the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA), mature markets and the developing markets of Europe, stretching as far afield as the eastern border of Russia. Through its network of local offices, MasterCard Europe can understand and meet the diverse needs of customers in the very different types of markets throughout Europe, enabling people to do business in their own way in their own language.

Through MasterCard Worldwide, MasterCard Europe offers its European customers and consumers access to leading payment services throughout the world. MasterCard Worldwide advances global commerce by providing a critical economic link among financial institutions, businesses, cardholders and merchants worldwide. As a franchisor, processor and advisor, MasterCard develops and markets payment solutions, processes over 16 billion transactions each year, and provides industry-leading analysis and consulting services to financial institution customers and merchants. Through its family of brands, including MasterCard®, Maestro® and Cirrus®, MasterCard serves consumers and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. For more information, go to www.mastercardworldwide.com.

About MasterCard Worldwide
MasterCard Worldwide advances global commerce by providing a critical economic link among financial institutions, businesses, cardholders and merchants worldwide. As a franchisor, processor and advisor, MasterCard develops and markets payment solutions, processes over 18 billion transactions each year, and provides industry-leading analysis and consulting services to financial institution customers and merchants. Through its family of brands, including MasterCard®, Maestro® and Cirrus®, MasterCard serves consumers and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. For more information go to www.mastercardworldwide.com.