SINGAPORE, 27 January 2021: Mastercard announced it is
applying the latest quantum-resistant technologies to develop the next
generation of contactless payments so that consumers continue to enjoy high
levels of security.
The new Enhanced Contactless (Ecos) specifications are an
industry-first and will help ensure contactless technology is future-proofed as
the dynamic digital landscape evolves and new technologies like quantum
computing are introduced.
The demand for faster, more convenient, safer and now
cleaner ways to pay has driven the transition to contactless. This trend will
only continue to grow. In fact, in the third quarter of 2020, contactless
penetration represented 41% of in-person purchase transactions globally, up 30%
from a year ago.
Mastercard has been spearheading the transition to
contactless payments and developing specifications like Ecos to support
industry standardization efforts and ensure the entire ecosystem benefits from
higher levels of security.
“Contactless is the present and future of in-person
payments. 2020 brought with it a rapid acceleration of digitization and
reinforced the importance of digital solutions – like contactless – to help
meet our everyday needs,” said Mastercard, president cyber and intelligence,
The new specifications will help ensure any device truly can
be a payment device while eliminating the need for a backup swipe or dip of a
Ecos leverages new quantum-resistant technology to deliver
next-generation algorithms and cryptographic key strengths while keeping the
contactless interaction under half a second.
The new specifications deliver advanced protection when
account information is shared between the card or digital wallet and the
checkout terminal. Ecos builds on the increased requirements to support various
As the new specifications are activated over the coming
years, consumers and merchants can expect a seamless transition. Digital
wallets, mobile payments, contactless cards and point-of-sale terminals will
continue to work as they do today.