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Mastercard and Partners Launch Credit Card That Can Resist Quantum Attacks

mastercard

Insider Brief

  • Mastercard released first cards that are compatible with the new specifications designed to protect against attacks from both traditional and quantum computers.
  • The company introduced quantum-resistant Enhanced Contactless specifications in January 2021.
  • The number of contactless payment devices will surpass 12.5 billion by 2027, with the value of contactless payment transactions expected to reach $10 trillion globally by that time.
  • Image by Alina Kuptsova from Pixabay

PRESS RELEASE — The protections and purchasing power of contactless payments took a step forward as Mastercard announced the approval of the first cards for issuers that are compatible with the new EMVCo® contactless specifications designed to protect against attacks from both traditional and quantum computers.

Quantum computing, which uses principles of quantum physics to solve complex problems exponentially faster than today’s supercomputers, holds great promise but also risk – bad actors could harness quantum computing to break the encryption that protects key systems. Though that possibility is likely years away, Mastercard experts have long been exploring the potential impact of quantum computing, and in January 2021 the company introduced quantum-resistant Enhanced Contactless specifications.

Since then, the company has worked with EMVCo to help evolve the innovation into an industry standard for contactless acceptance that provides the best protection for the industry, businesses and consumers while offering the same speed and convenience of today’s contactless payment experience.

“Technology has the potential to open new opportunities for both consumers and fraudsters. That’s why future-proofing security is critical,” said Ajay Bhalla, president, Cyber & Intelligence at Mastercard. “By bringing quantum-era technology to contactless payments, we are taking steps to future-proof security and privacy protection as much as possible. These new cards will deliver that greater peace of mind, while also providing consumers and merchants a seamless transition from today’s contactless experience.”

The number of contactless payment devices will surpass 12.5 billion by 2027, according to Juniper, with the value of contactless payment transactions expected to reach $10 trillion globally by that time.

Mastercard has a long history in developing and enhancing industry standards, as seen in its support and increased innovation around tokenization, 3-D Secure and the password-free checkout option Click to Pay, to name a few.

The new cards are designed to remain compatible with existing acceptance, network and issuer infrastructure and are available from Giesecke+Devrient and Thales. Mastercard will continue to partner with card manufacturers and will work with its customers to set the pace of transition to these new cards in 2023 and beyond.

Keep up-to-date with the quantum computing industry by reading our latest news articles!

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Matt Swayne

With a several-decades long background in journalism and communications, Matt Swayne has worked as a science communicator for an R1 university for more than 12 years, specializing in translating high tech and deep tech for the general audience. He has served as a writer, editor and analyst at The Quantum Insider since its inception. In addition to his service as a science communicator, Matt also develops courses to improve the media and communications skills of scientists and has taught courses. [email protected]

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