Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a smart card? How does it work?
A: A smart card is like a mini-PC in your wallet, and it can do anything a computer can be programmed to do. The possibilities for smart cards are virtually unlimited. MasterCard is focused on how a payment card can be enhanced with new functionality, like e-tickets, rewards points, personal preferences, and secure ID to name a few uses.
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Q: What can a smart card do that a regular magnetic stripe card cannot?
A: Smart cards can store thousands of times more information than traditional, magnetic stripe cards. This enables smart cards to perform multiple functions and to make use of high security mechanisms such as advanced encryption and biometrics.
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Q: How is a smart card safer or more secure than a card with a typical magnetic stripe?
A: To combat fraud, smart cards typically use a sophisticated system of encryption locks and keys to authenticate the card, transactions, and the financial institution that issued the card. In this way, chips make it much more certain that any given card is genuine. They also provide far greater resistance against today's fastest growing fraud problem: skimming, where criminals duplicate information from the magnetic stripe of a credit or debit card, and begin using such cards for their own benefit.
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Q: What is Mondex® electronic cash?
A: Mondex is a payment system, based on smart card technology, which offers an alternative to paying cash for goods and services. With Mondex electronic cash, monetary value is stored as electronic information on a microchip, rather than as physical notes and coins. Mondex uniquely combines high security, person-to-person payment functionality, immediate value transfer, and multi-currency capability.
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Q: How does Mondex work?
A: Mondex electronic cash smart cards store and dispense cash electronically, making bills and coins less necessary. It transfers funds over phone lines, making it easier to reload your smart cards. You can use this system wherever you see the Mondex sign. A Mondex wallet allows person-to-person payments. A Mondex telephone or Internet link lets you make this person-to-person payment anywhere in the world. The card can store up to five separate currencies at the same time.
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Q: Can I check what I have spent with my Mondex electronic cash smart card, and where I've made those purchases?
A: Yes. Mondex-compatible ATMs, telephones, and wallets include a statement key that lets you check the last ten transactions on your card. You'll get an instant electronic statement showing how much you have spent and where and when you spent it.
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Q: What is a Mondex wallet?
A: A Mondex wallet is a pocket-sized device with one or two card readers and its own electronic purse, a keyboard, and a screen. Wallets can transfer value to and from Mondex electronic cash smart cards, allowing you to make person-to-person payments without handling cash.
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Q: Do I need a PC to use Mondex?
A: Mondex can be utilized across multiple channels, including the Internet. As all payment is conducted chip to chip, all that is needed is a card, and a reader.
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Q: Will Mondex make cash redundant?
A: Mondex is an alternative to cash, not a replacement. About 90% of the world's payments are currently made in cash, and it's unlikely that Mondex will change that completely. However, there will certainly be many places where consumers as well as retailers will prefer Mondex over cash.
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Q: How will Mondex affect my other payment cards?
A: Mondex is an alternative to cash transactions because of its benefits for consumers and retailers. It is faster than handling conventional currency, and in many cases safer and less expensive. Credit and debit cards offer a different set of benefits than Mondex electronic cash smart cards, such as revolving credit and interest-free periods. These different types of payment cards will be able to co-exist easily.
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Q: Will I spend too much with the Mondex electronic cash card?
A: With Mondex, you can only spend the value you have loaded, and no more. The chip keeps a record of your transactions, which you can see at any time by using the statement key on a Mondex wallet, telephone, or ATM.
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Q: What happens if I lose my Mondex electronic cash smart card?
A: Because Mondex electronic cash is like physical cash, if you lose your smart card, you'll lose the balance of Mondex electronic cash held on that card. It would be the same as losing bills or coins. The difference is that your Smart Card is useless without your code to unlock it, so nobody will be interested in stealing it. Also people finding lost Mondex cards often turn them in.
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Q: Do I need to enter a PIN at the cash register to complete my Mondex transaction?
A: No. Your PIN is only required for access to your bank account using debit. You will not need it for individual sales transactions.
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Q: How do I know where I can use Mondex?
A: Just look for the Mondex logo in the storefront window. Any retailer who accepts Mondex electronic cash smart cards wants to be sure that you know about it.
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