http://www.cardtechnology.com/Executives Of U.S.
Electronic Funds Transfer Networks Talk Down PayPass
MasterCard Worldwide member banks have issued 19 million PayPass-enabled
cards and tokens accepted at more than 55,000 merchant
locations, including vending machines worldwide. But some
panelists during the EFT Network Showcase at the ATM, Debit &
Prepaid Forum earlier this month in Carlsbad, Calif., expressed
doubts about PayPass' viability, Card Technologyís sister
publication CardLine Global reported.
Before they spoke, however, Patricia Preston, a senior vice
president at MasterCard, extolled the benefits of PayPass. She
said PayPass would improve a bank's debit card business because
it helps speed up transaction times and because more purchases
of less than $25 are moving from cash to debit cards. And
consumer spending increases 28% to 42% with PayPass, she added.
Preston had just completed her presentation when most of the
other panelists took off the gloves. Steve Rathgaber, president
and chief operating officer of NYCE Payments Network, which
bills itself as connecting more than 2,500 financial
institutions with more than 280,000 ATMs and more than 1.5
million point-of-sale locations in the United States, told the
audience that PayPass was a bad idea.
"Just because the technology is there, it doesn't make it a good
product," he said. Rathgaber added that, to consumers,
payment-industry consistency works, and new technology may be
more confusing and less productive than older technology.
Dave Schneider, president of the Pulse EFT Association, said he
had not seen much enthusiasm for the adoption of PayPass, noting
that the industry was moving toward mobile payments. And G. Kirk
Ergang, senior vice president of the Star Network, mocked
PayPass. "Don't you just like those ads for contactless cards?"
he asked the audience.
Many members of the crowd mildly chuckled. Stacey Pinkerd, Visa
USA's senior vice president of consumer debit products, did not
join in on the fray. He changed the subject. Visa offers payWave,
which competes with PayPass. (2007-10-29)