MasterCard Worldwide announced today that Circle K is now accepting MasterCard PayPass at select stores across the U.S.

With a simple tap of a MasterCard PayPass card or device at checkout, Circle K customers can now purchase their everyday items more quickly and conveniently.

“For more than 50 years, Circle K has remained one of North America’s most popular places to shop because we continually look for innovative ways to improve the customer experience in our stores,” says Bryan Ritenour, Circle K.

“Our shoppers, who are regularly ‘on the go,’ will enjoy the speed, convenience and shorter lines that result when they tap to pay with MasterCard PayPass, instead of fumbling for cash and coins at checkout.”

The use of contactless payment cards continues to see exponential growth.

The number of MasterCard PayPass cards and devices in market has grown from nearly 13 million as of Q4 2006, to more than 23 million as of Q4 2007, to more than 50 million as of Q4 2008. According to U.S. consumer research by the Smart Card Alliance, issued in September 2008, nine percent of the U.S. population has a contactless payment card or device, and this figure continues to grow.

“Circle K is an ideal environment for MasterCard PayPass because the benefit of faster transactions at the point of sale translates directly to busy shoppers,” says Cathleen Conforti, senior vice president, GlobalPayPass, MasterCard Worldwide.

“By accepting MasterCard PayPass, Circle K is taking an innovative step to improve customer loyalty and customer throughput at the register.”

About 94 percent of PayPass-using respondents to a 2008 MasterCard PayPass Benchmark Study were satisfied with their experience, and 77 percent of PayPass consumers said they use PayPass as their primary card for everyday purchases.