Alliance Activities : Publications : Issuer and Merchant Best Practices: Promoting Contactless Payments Usage and Acceptance

Issuer and Merchant Best Practices: Promoting Contactless Payments Usage and Acceptance

Publication Date: September 2009

Contactless payment has had the fastest deployment and acceptance of any emerging payments technology in recent memory and speaks of a unique market momentum for the industry. Since mid-2005, leading financial issuers have placed tens of millions of contactless credit and debit cards and devices into the hands of consumers worldwide. Merchant acceptance increased dramatically over the past 3 years: over 153,000 merchant locations now accept contactless payments.

The Smart Card Alliance developed this white paper to document:

This white paper provides practical guidance for the business and marketing staff at issuers and merchants to assist in enhancing or planning contactless payment initiatives.

In early 2009, the Council’s Consumer Work Group conducted a series of interviews with contactless credit and debit card issuers and payment brands to understand what programs issuers had instituted to drive consumer usage and awareness and which programs were the most successful. This white paper reports the research findings and describes the best practices that issuers found to be most effective.

The research conclusions identified merchant acceptance as a critical factor in promoting consumer use of contactless payment technology. The white paper summarizes merchant best practices for accepting contactless payments, documenting findings from both this and previous Smart Card Alliance research.

The white paper concludes with insights into what the industry can do to help issuers and merchants advance contactless usage and awareness and the benefits that result from following these best practices.

About the Smart Card Alliance Payments Council

The Payments Council is one of several Smart Card Alliance technology and industry councils. The Council was formed to focus on facilitating the adoption of chip-enabled payments and payment applications in the U.S. through education programs for consumers, merchants, issuers, acquirers/processors, government regulators, mobile telecommunications providers and payments service providers. The group is bringing together payments industry stakeholders, including payments industry leaders, merchants and suppliers, and is working on projects related to implementing EMV, contactless payments, NFC-enabled payments and applications, mobile payments, and chip-enabled e-commerce. The Council’s primary goal is to inform and educate the market about the value of chip-enabled payments in improving the security of the payments infrastructure and in enhancing the value of payments and payment-related applications for industry stakeholders. Council participation is open to any Smart Card Alliance member who wishes to contribute to the Council projects.

Council members involved in the development of this white paper and in the issuer survey included: Capital One, Chase, Collis America, Cubic, Discover Financial Services, First Data Corporation, Giesecke & Devrient, IBM, INSIDE Contactless, MasterCard Worldwide, Oberthur Technologies, VeriFone, Visa Inc., ViVOtech.