Mastercard announced that it has increased contactless payment limits across the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region as people look for safer ways to pay in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative is in line with recommendations from global and regional health authorities and governments to practice social distancing that has led a growing number of merchants to encourage consumers to pay with contactless over cash to avoid human-to-human contact.
Globally, Mastercard has been spearheading the transition to contactless for over 15 years. In MEA, the company has worked with various industry partners and sectors in multiple markets to increase the use of digital and contactless payment technology in an effort to enhance safety, security, speed and convenience in the payment experience for cardholders. In 2019, the MEA region saw over 200 per cent growth in contactless transactions. Today almost 1 in 9 Mastercard transactions at point-of-sale (POS) terminals in MEA are contactless.
While following best practices from around the world, Mastercard is working closely with its partners to enable businesses and retailers to implement contactless limit increases quickly and efficiently. Cardholder verification method (CVM) limits are being increased in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Mauritius. This will ultimately improve purchase experiences for people across the region making them safer and more convenient for consumers and businesses alike.
“Mastercard remains committed to offering safe, secure, and simple payment solutions across the region. In the current environment, we are grateful that contactless payments are available so consumers can follow social distancing recommendations, and that people are embracing these safe and hygienic solutions as their preferred form of payment every day. Today’s announcement reflects the pace of those changing behaviors, offering consumers ease, speed and peace of mind in a rapidly changing world. We will continue to work with our industry partners to guide and support them through this effort,” said Mete Guney, the Executive VP of Services, Middle East and Africa at Mastercard.
Cardholders should look for the contactless symbol on the front or back of their credit or debit cards to determine whether they have a contactless-enabled card or can add their debit or credit card to their mobile wallets on their contactless-enabled devices to tap and pay where contactless payments are accepted.
Mastercard’s effort to raise CVM limits is one of many the company is leading to do its part for its employees, customers and cardholders. Most recently, the company announced a partnership with The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Wellcome Trust to accelerate the development and access to treatment for COVID-19 with the initial grant of $20 million funding announced to three institutions to fund clinical trials.
Below is the breakdown of the countries with their old and new limits: