MasterCard® grew its PayPass™  footprint in Europe in 2012 and is now active in 26 countries/ via more than 200 issuers and acquirers  

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 Waterloo, Belgium –December 18, 2012– MasterCard Europe today announced the 2012 milestones for  MasterCard PayPass, showing that consumers are embracing the Tap&Go™ payment experience in 26 countries across Europe (8 new countries in 2012).   PayPass is an innovative contactless payment feature that provides consumers and merchants with a fast and convenient alternative to cash for everyday purchases.  PayPass can be added to any MasterCard® or Maestro® debit, credit or prepaid card.

Since January 2012 growth in cards enabled with PayPass is up more than 50% and top PayPass countries such as Poland have more than 50% cards enabled.  In addition to Poland, large PayPass card footprints are now well established in France, Germany, Italy, Turkey, Russia, Switzerland and the UK where in each country there are close to or far above a million enabled cards.

Retail acceptance almost doubled in the same time period and has now reached 255,000 locations in Europe.  Important new retailers now accepting PayPass include Marks&Spencer, IKEA, Transport for London and BP.   

These results continue to position MasterCard as a brand of choice for consumers and merchants alike. “For IKEA, we’re now seeing one out of every five transactions on a MasterCard branded card being a contactless one and are very satisfied with the introduction of PayPass in all eight of our IKEA stores in Poland.  We have experienced improvement in the reduction of queues with the help of PayPass, particularly at peak times like lunchtime in the restaurant or during weekends at the retail cashiers”   said  Zofia Korbasiewicz, Treasury Manager from IKEA in Poland.

Convenience and speed rank highly for big retailers like IKEA, and also for transit business partners such as Transport for London (TfL).  TfL recently announced the acceptance of MasterCard® PayPass™ and Maestro® PayPass™ for fare payment on London’s 8,500 buses as of December 2012.  “What we’ve been able to do here with Transport for London is to ensure that consumers can use that card that’s already in their wallet to seamlessly travel through London but get the benefit of safe, secure payments that are easy to use” explains Marion King, Division President of United Kingdom and Ireland from MasterCard.

PayPass cardholders continue to enjoy the simplicity and convenience linked to contactless payments and consequently contribute to the displacement of cash around Europe.  In Poland, for purchases below 50 zlotys (approximately 12 euros)//, MasterCard purchase transactions have increased by almost 50%  year over year. Now PayPass makes up nearly a quarter of transactions in this spend range.

“2012 has been a turning point for PayPass in Europe as it is now in the hands of millions of consumers and accepted by thousands of merchants across Europe”, says Chris Kangas, Head of PayPass at MasterCard Europe.  “Education about speed, convenience and security of this technology is key and when consumers who use PayPass-enabled cards or devices understand that they can enjoy the same protections from fraud as they would with conventional MasterCard payments, contactless payments become part of their day-to-day shopping.”

Globally, PayPass is present in 48 countries and accepted at nearly 550,000 merchant locations.

–          E N D S   –


Rose Beaumont, MasterCard Europe, +44 7725219970,

Corinne Raes, MasterCard Europe, +32 2 352 5237,

/ PayPass-issuing countries in Europe are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, Ukraine.

// 50 zlotys is the local PayPass limit below which there is no need for PIN code or signature for contactless transactions.

About MasterCard Worldwide

MasterCard (NYSE: MA),, is a global payments and technology company. It operates the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardNewsjoin the discussion on the Cashless Conversations Blog and subscribe for the latest news.