FUTURE-PROOF: The new cards use technology that protects against attacks from quantum computers

Mastercard has launched the first contactless payment cards to incorporate enhanced quantum-resistant security features compliant with EMVCo’s newly released EMV Contactless Kernel Specification.

The new cards are now available to card issuers and remain compatible with existing payments infrastructure whilst using technology that offers protection against attacks from both traditional and quantum computers, according to Mastercard.

“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,” the card network explains.

“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 with a seamless transition from today’s contactless experience.

“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.”

Mastercard unveiled its Enhanced Contactless (Ecos) specification for contactless payments with quantum-resistant security in January 2021.

EMVCo officially launched the EMV Contactless Kernel Specification last week and unveiled details of how it will enhance security and interoperability in a keynote presentation for Contactless World Congress in September.

Mastercard releases first quantum-resistant contactless payment cards was written by Tom Phillips and published by NFCW.

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