Mastercard delivers ‘quantum resistant’ contactless cards

Mastercard experts have long been exploring the potential impact of quantum computing – their solution is embodied in new contactless cards

Mastercard quantum

Mastercard delivers ‘quantum resistant’ contactless cards. Source:

Mastercard has approved for issuers the first contactless cards compatible with the new EMVCo contactless specifications. The latter are designed to protect bank data against attacks from traditional and quantum computers.

The payment provider’s security experts have been discussing the potential of quantum computing to overcome today’s security protocols for years. Namely, they stressed out that bad actors could harness quantum computing to break the encryption that protects key financial systems. Though that possibility is likely years away, the company wants to be ahead of the potentially dangerous technology.

Therefore, Mastercard has been working with global standards body EMVCo to embed quantum-resistant Enhanced Contactless specifications into current card programmes.

The new cards are designed to remain compatible with existing acceptance, network and issuer infrastructure and are available from Giesecke+Devrient and Thales.

“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.”
Ajay Bhalla,
president, cyber & intelligence at Mastercard

Earlier this year, Mastercard partnered with quantum computing specialist D-Wave Systems to build innovative quantum computing applications and transform customer experiences. Their collaboration will focus on the research and development of quantum-hybrid applications.


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Nina Bobro

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Nina is passionate about financial technologies and environmental issues, reporting on the industry news and the most exciting projects that build their offerings around the intersection of fintech and sustainability.