MasterCard PayPass is an enhanced payment card that features a hidden embedded computer chip and antennae. A cardholder simply taps or waves his or her MasterCard PayPass card on a specially equipped merchant terminal. The card then transmits payment details wirelessly, eliminating the need for a cardholder to hand over his or her card for a merchant to swipe through a reader. Account details are communicated directly to the special terminals and are then processed through MasterCard’s highly trusted acceptance network. Moments after a consumer taps the terminal with his or her PayPass card, they receive payment confirmation and are on their way.
MasterCard PayPass is built around globally interoperable standards and relies on the ISO Telecommunications Standard #14443 to transmit Track 2 data via radio frequency. In North America, where the majority of transactions are authorized on-line, the payment application data is based on the magnetic stripe information. The card/terminal interaction is based the MasterCard Proximity Chip – Online Profile, which is a subset of EMV/ISO7816 commands.