Make your mobile an electronic wallet

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 15 April, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 15 April, 2007, 12:00am

A new MasterCard payment system will allow users to complete transactions using their mobile phones.

Signatures were only required for purchases through the PayPass system of HK$200 and above, and users could spend all the way to their credit limit, MasterCard said.

PayPass offered a 'convenient alternative to cash that allows smaller transactions to be completed more quickly, securely and easily than ever before', said Danny Cheung Wai-kin, MasterCard Worldwide's vice-president and business manager for Greater China.

A trial has been going on in the United States for six months, and the company launched a promotional event in Hong Kong yesterday. PayPass was first launched in 2002 in the US in card format.

Cardholders download card data to activate their phones.

Users tap their PayPass-enabled phone on a reader to complete a transaction.

Mr Cheung would not say how many vendors were expected to join the programme, saying the system was at an initial stage.

He predicted the system would become common. 'By the end of 2006, there were already over 46,000 merchants across the world accepting PayPass, with markets including Taiwan and other parts of Asia.'