Mastercard has unveiled a pilot project in Poland, which lets two hundred small businesses accept contactless payments using just a mobile app on their NFC smartphones.

The project is intended at small and micro merchants who have been traditionally using cash payments and provide them with a simple and secured medium to make and receive payments.

The pilot project is expected to begin this autumn and will last till next summer. In the first stage, about 200 small and micro businesses from all over Poland will participate. This number is expected to reach up to 500.

A limit of PLN50($14) has been put for transactions with the contactless payment can be made. For transactions above the prescribed limited, PIN is needed.

Mastercard has cited a recent study conducted by the Polish Foundation for Development of Cashless Payments (FROB), which found that among the entrepreneurs who were giving up card or mobile payments, 36% did so because of the associated costs.

The financial services company is focused on addressing this issue. Participating businesses will only need a smartphone with the app installed and create an associated merchant account in it. There will not be any other separate peripheral equipment needed.

Mastercard Poland country manager Bartosz Ciolkowski said: “Mastercard is committed to enable every connected device to accept payments – and I am delighted that Poland is the first country where this latest innovation in payment technologies is being tested.

“Poles have proven many times that they are open to innovations in trade and finance, and Poland needs such solutions on its way to become a cash-lite economy. I am proud that together with our partners we can contribute to making yet another technological leap in payments.”

USBancorp’s subsidiary Elavon Poland country manager Rafal Golebiewski said: “Innovations such as this can help streamline processes, increase service availability, and reduce time and costs, benefiting small merchants and consumers.

“As our customers are enthusiastic about adopting new technologies, we work together with our partners to create a digital payment environment using mobile devices.”

Image: Mastercard to start new smarphone-based app for payments in Poland. Photo: Courtesy of MasterCard.