MasterCard to Use Rugby World Cup to Push NFC

Mastercard rugby world cup
New Zealand player kicks off sponsorship

MasterCard will use its sponsorship of the Rugby World Cup to finally get NFC, a technology perfected some eight years ago, into the mainstream.

The company told Mobile Marketing at Mobile World Congress that it is waging war on insecure cash payments, which still make up 85 per cent of transactions worldwide.

At a launch event today, the company said that the rugby tournament to be staged next year in England and Wales will be a key milestone in the development of a cashless UK. “We’re seeing all these things coming together and replacing cash,” Ann Cairns, president of international markets for MasterCard Worldwide told Marketing magazine.

But its not clear how many NFC payments they expect to be made on mobile, rather than just at contactless card terminals being installed at venues and attractions across Britain. NFC is already live for contactless card payments on Londons buses, with the network expected to go cashless on 6 July.

MasterCard is also pushing a loyalty scheme built around priceless events for its cardholders as part of the sponsorship.