“NFC is the leading technology for contactless payment“ - Interview with Jürgen Schübel, Head of Commerce Development at MasterCard Europe

01/01/2012
Contactless Payment

Interview with Jürgen Schübel, Head of Commerce Development at MasterCard Europe


Since March 2010, Jürgen Schübel is in charge of development of the German market for the credit card by MasterCard and the”Maestro“- logo debit cards, which enable bank customers access to their checking account (called “giro account” in Germany). For Schübel, NFC contactless payment is getting more and more important. NFC (near field communication) is not just available for plastic cards. Card companies also place high hopes in the new NFC cellular phones. Retail needs new reading devices for this technology. In exchange, Schübel promises faster payment processing and fewer customers who want to pay with cash.


Credit cards have a hard time in the German retail sector because of their fees. How are costs shaping up?


All this is a question of supply and demand of course. Generally with increasing volumes, costs will also decrease for transactions. In this case we also speak of economies of scale. So the larger the demand, the larger the possible cost reduction.


Why do credit cards strongly increase in German online retail?

Credit cards are an easy, quick and convenient type of payment. If for no other reason, more and more retailers prefer credit card payments because payment with credit card guarantees payment receipt. According to the so-called E-Payment-Barometer, a joint opinion poll by ibi research, the business magazine “Der Handel“ (= retail business) and MasterCard, larger retailers favor purchases with credit cards, since the number of payment defaults are very small. In contrast, for many retailers payment defaults are a part of their daily business for payments made using direct debit; in this instance the retailer bears the risk until the very end. Consumers in turn of course also benefit from a worldwide acceptance of credit cards. Especially in E-Commerce many transactions also happen transnationally. In addition, flexibility and an extended credit period are among the benefits for consumers.


Are credit cards still safe?

Safety is a dynamic process. That’s why we work closely together with banks and regularly educate consumers, because unlike cash which is irrevocably lost in case of theft or loss, customers can freeze their cards- be that debit or credit cards – should it be necessary. Generally credit cards are considered to be one of the safest means of payment, regardless of whether that’s domestically or internationally.

We constantly monitor the development of credit card fraud trends on a global and national level. MasterCard has developed the Expert Monitoring System (EMS) to uncover and avert impending risks based on spending behavior. For secure purchasing on the Internet, MasterCard offers the “SecureCode” security solution. Card holders receive individual authentication data – similar to a PIN for automated teller machines – for online payment processing with which they can verify themselves with their bank without a doubt via a password. In return the bank also verifies itself via an individual announcement.


First TA 7.0, now NFC. Every few years retailers are supposed to invest in new card terminals. What is the benefit of contactless card payment?

Contactless technology is a consistent evolution of the EMV-Standard*. For retailers it represents a process optimization and in addition is connected with low maintenance costs. Card terminals are replaced in regular intervals. Contactless card terminals therefore can be swapped in a regular cycle. This way it also does not necessarily create additional costs for the retailer. Particularly time savings at the checkout is a benefit of contactless payment, for the retailer as well as the consumer.