The new Ecos specifications are designed to deliver next-generation capabilities for advanced protection and convenience


Mastercard develops new contactless technology. (Credit: Alina Kuptsova from Pixabay.)

Payments technology firm Mastercard has announced that it is deploying the advanced quantum-resistant technologies to develop the new Enhanced Contactless (Ecos) features.

The new generation of contactless payment features are said to be the first in the payments industry and will ensure the high level of security and convenience to consumers.

Mastercard said that the demand for rapid, convenient, safe and clean ways to pay is paving the way for transition to contactless payment technologies.

Also, the contactless penetration represented 41% of global in-person purchase transactions for the third quarter of 2020, which rose by 30% from a previous year.

Mastercard cyber and intelligence president Ajay Bhalla said: “Contactless is the present and future of in-person payments. 2020 brought with it a rapid acceleration of digitisation and reinforced the importance of digital solutions, like contactless, to help meet our everyday needs.

“As the ecosystem continues to evolve, more connected devices and the Internet of Things are going to create more user demand and an even greater need for constant innovation to build next-generation capability, helping to ensure that technology never outpaces trust.”

Mastercard claimed that it has been leading the transition to contactless payments and developing specifications like Ecos to support industry standardisation and ensure the ecosystem benefit from enhanced security.

The Ecos features aim to benefit consumers, merchants and financial institutions through enhanced convenience, trust, privacy, and compatibility, said the company.

The firm predicts that the in-store shopping would predominantly shift towards contactless payments, and its new technology would turn any device into a payment device, preventing the need for a backup swipe or dip of a card.

Ecos features are designed to leverage advanced quantum-resistant technology to deliver next-generation algorithms and cryptographic strengths while facilitating the contactless interaction under half a second.

The new specifications are expected to deliver advanced protection during the transmission of account information between the card or digital wallet and the checkout terminal.

Mastercard said that the new specifications are planned to be activated in the coming years, while consumers, merchants can expect a seamless transition.

Digital wallets, mobile payments, contactless cards and point-of-sale terminals are expected to work without changes, as the Ecos features are delivered through a software upgrade, without needing any new hardware or terminals.

Furthermore, the company’s investment will complement similar investments in tokens, 3-D Secure and Click to Pay, and is expected to deliver better consumer and merchant experience.