MasterCard Worldwide recently announced the launch of Australia’s first trial of MasterCard PayPass on a mobile phone at this year’s MasterCard Masters golf tournament.

In conjunction with Commonwealth Bank, the MasterCard PayPass mobile phone trial will also include a free giveaway of 3000 MasterCard PayPass cards by Commonwealth Bank. Each card will be loaded with $25 and can be used at any of the retailers at the MasterCard Masters, which have been set up with MasterCard PayPass readers.

“Contactless payments technology is already extremely popular with consumers around the globe. The mobile phone trial and free MasterCard PayPass card giveaways at the MasterCard Masters will give Australians the chance to use this innovative next generation payment technology now,” says Leigh Clapham, executive vice president, Australasia, MasterCard Worldwide.

Commonwealth Bank is the first Australian bank to introduce a contactless payment solution like MasterCard PayPass to the Australian marketplace.

“We’re really excited about being the first Australian bank to actually trial a contactless payment solution using near field communication (NFC) to the Australian market,” says Stephen Karpin, executive general manager credit cards, Commonwealth Bank.

“The phone trial is an exciting way to showcase the technology and give everyone an indication of where the technology is heading.”

The phones use the NFC protocol to transmit data from the phone to PayPass readers. Card holders need to simply tap the phone against the MasterCard PayPass reader at a merchant counter, wait for a beep, and the purchase is complete.

The mobile phone trial of MasterCard PayPass in Australia draws on MasterCard’s success in rolling out MasterCard PayPass globally, with over 19 million PayPass cards and devices in use at over 73,000 merchants worldwide.

“MasterCard also announced the launch of MasterCard PayPass in mobile phones in Japan last week, which follows a successful launch of the technology in Taiwan earlier this year, in addition to the United States and Korea,” says Clapham.

“For retailers, contactless technology reduces queues and increases the speed of transactions. For customers this means more convenience, providing them with a faster alternative to cash, which is ideal for payment of small-ticket items,” he says.