Mastercard launches cloud tap on phone, the first cloud point of sale acceptance technology

Mastercard has partnered with NMI and Global Payments Inc. to launch its first live Cloud Tap on Phone pilot with Computer Engineering Group (CEG), a Napa, Calif.-based independent IT Services provider.

Cloud Tap on Phone is one of Mastercard’s innovative next generation acceptance products, with the software hosted on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform.

Mastercard has been spearheading the transition to contactless payments for years. The demand for faster, more convenient, safe, and now cleaner ways to pay has driven the transition to contactless, and it’s a one-way street with touch-free experiences expected to be permanent for consumers and businesses even after the pandemic ends.

In fact, in the third quarter of 2020, contactless penetration represented 41% of in-person purchase transactions globally, up from 37% in the second quarter and 30% a year ago.

With Tap on Phone, any business – regardless of size – can deliver new and best-in-class contactless consumer experiences using a device they already own: a smartphone. Tap on Phone democratizes point-of-sale technology by turning an Android smartphone or tablet into an acceptance device, allowing businesses to accept contactless payments minimizing the need to invest in hardware terminals or extra features.

Merchants can offer enhanced and accelerated curbside pick-up or payment on delivery, or provide faster line-skipping checkout in-store, options that are increasingly important as consumers look to touch-free cash alternatives.

With the introduction of Cloud Point of Sale (POS), Mastercard is enhancing its Tap on Phone product and empowering ecosystem partners to develop their own cloud-based products with new tools and capabilities.

Cloud POS moves key parts of the acceptance software – the components1 which enable the processing of contactless transactions and certain security functions – from the individual smartphone to the cloud, offering robust security, reducing development and maintenance costs, and creating scalable distribution channels by allowing immediate connectivity to partners.

Cloud POS also becomes a new channel for Mastercard and our partners to bring value added services to customers and businesses.

Mastercard will make its pre-certified Cloud POS software development kits (SDKs) openly available in multiple cloud environments, encouraging solution providers, fintechs, acquirers and processors to innovate and co-create new cloud-first products. Mastercard’s pilot with CEG represents the first live deployment of Mastercard Cloud Tap on Phone anywhere in the world.

“We continue to see an accelerating shift to digital payments, with businesses of all sizes wanting to provide swift, secure, compelling point-of-sale experiences. Cloud POS enables us to make these experiences available to our partners with greater speed and efficiency,” said Milan Gauder, Global Head of Mastercard’s Acceptance Solutions Group. “Our partners are the center of everything we do, and our trusted technology powers innovative experiences, choice, flexibility and certainty, creating the products they need. Mastercard’s Cloud Tap on Phone delivers on our promise of ground-breaking products and innovation.”

Mastercard has convened an ecosystem of partners to launch Cloud Tap on Phone.

Leading payments enablement technology company NMI operates as a key integration partner and distributor.

Global Payments, a leading worldwide provider of payment technology and software solutions, will provide point of sale acceptance technology.

Continuing the company’s commitment to empower small businesses, CEG, an independent IT services company from California, serviced by an ISO BNG Payments, becomes the first company to pilot Mastercard’s Cloud Tap on Phone.

Development of Cloud POS technology and the Cloud Tap on Phone product has been spearheaded by Mastercard Labs, the company’s new product development arm. The company’s pilot with CEG follows live product testing on Mastercard’s own Purchase, N.Y. campus.

Cloud POS is a product of Mastercard’s multi-cloud strategy, meeting businesses, consumers, financial institutes and partners in the cloud with innovative applications and services. The company will conduct further Cloud Tap on Phone pilots and commercial deployments in other markets in 2021.

Currently, Mastercard’s Tap on Phone solution is in 16 markets across Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, North America and Middle East & Africa. Pilots are taking place with partners in Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Poland, Kazakhstan, Romania, Canada, Belarus, Russia, Turkey, United Kingdom, among other countries.

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