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“Tap on Phone” technology to disrupt cash payments in Jamaica

MasterCard Jamaica country head, Dalton Fowles, revealed that his company will be launching “disruptive” technology in the form of “tap to phone” which turns a smartphone to a payment point of sale terminal.

MasterCard to launch Tap on Phone technology in a few months. (Photo:Bloomberg.com)

For entrepreneurs who offer services as well as a physical product, Fowles said MasterCard allows payment processing on several acceptance models. “For some it is an ecommerce site. Some cases you need a physical device. However, payment devices have evolved.  We now are at the stage where disruptive technology is coming to payment platforms in Jamaica in a couple of months, I would say, as we are working with our partners who are serious about changing the payment platform in Jamaica.” 

MasterCard country manager, Dalton Fowles

Fowles continued, “No longer will you need a physical device, it will be an app on your phone. In regards to security, even if your phone is stolen, the thief cannot access your money. Let us say they demand your (personal identification number) PIN as well, you can call your bank and shut down the access. However, the tap on phone technology is not about you accepting money on your phone. It is about your phone being a payment device to send money to your bank account. Even better, you don’t even need a website with tap on phone technology. So let us say someone comes with a credit card, debit card or pre-paid card that says contactless on the card itself.  What this means is that the money goes from their account to your account. No money sits on your phone. The phone is just a payment device.”

Tap on phone technology is already available in the United States. 

On the Mastercard website, it explains, “By adding contactless, you’re opening the door to powerful benefits. In addition to adding convenience for your cardholders, contactless can help you increase spending, displace cash and attain top of wallet status.”

Potential benefits for issuers include:

  • Higher spend
  • Incremental spend — consumer not limited to cash on hand
  • Incremental transactions — results from increased usage
  • Expected increases in swiped/dipped transactions
  • Replacement of cash purchases now paid with contactless-enabled cards and devices
  • Reduction in incentives paid by bank toward account retention
  • Opportunity costs avoided — fewer customers switching banks or moving competitors’ products to top of wallet”

Further, MasterCard says that contactless technology, “In addition to offering fast, safe and convenient experiences to their customers, businesses will have multiple benefits such as: access to a history of transactions made from the comfort of their mobile device; with the possibility of doing an analysis of them weekly, monthly, by currency or by amount; have the possibility to enter their products and be selected from the same app; and make purchases in local currency or US dollars.”