Mastercard Labs

Mastercard PayPass™

Branding a simpler way to pay

Arms full of groceries and goods, a shopper steps up in the checkout line with a Mastercard card in hand. But rather than swiping the card to pay for purchases, the shopper taps his card on a point-of-sale terminal reader. In 2003, this contactless payment represented a huge advance in payment technology. American Express and Visa were already in the market with their versions. Mastercard needed an identifier for their version of new "contactless" payment with an identity for its feature that provides cardholders with a simpler way to pay. By tapping the payment card on a point-of-sale reader rather than swiping or inserting the card, Mastercard was improving the overall shopping experience.

First and foremost, the identity had to say what the technology did. One way to do that was to use a globally understood icon: the four-line "broadcasting" wave that could indicate their payment card works as contactless, able to be read by simply waving it near a terminal with a matching symbol. Mastercard was not satisfied with simply fitting in the category. It wanted to stand out from the others.

The new identity also needed to work within the Mastercard Brand Architecture system. With Mastercard’s global reach, the company turned to Tenet Partners to develop tools for managing and implementing the new product brand.

Working with Mastercard management, Tenet successfully developed an identity for Mastercard PayPass that was thoroughly tested and launched in the summer of 2005. Testament to its success, the program is still in use today.

The number of merchants accepting and financial institutions participating in the Mastercard PayPass program has grown at a rapid pace. Through our Brand Center management, Mastercard can efficiently supply its partners with artwork and usage standards for the proper implementation and management of the Mastercard PayPass identity. The results: the power for Mastercard to maximize its visual presence to its targeted audiences.

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