Chip manufacturer Intel is embedding computers with technology that will allow online shoppers to pay for things by tapping a contactless card or an NFC-enabled mobile phone against their PC or laptop.

The breakthrough, which aims to provide a basis for secure and convenient e-commerce transactions, is being made possible following Intel's decision to integrate NXP’s “PN544PC” NFC radio controller into a selection of new computers.

The payment method will initially only be available to MasterCard customers as Intel has built the solution in conjunction with MasterCard's MasterPass contactless technology.

Any transactions made using the new payment method will be verified by Intel’s Identity Protection Technology (IPT).

Intel and MasterCard are aiming to simplify paying in an e-commerce market which is already worth $162 billion (£100 billion) a year - $42 billion (£26 billion) from mobile - in the US alone, according to eMarketer.

Praveen Vishakantaiah, GM, client solutions and technologies, Intel PC Client Group, said that people using the payment method "can rest assured their shopping websites know it's really them".

Rutger Vrijen, VP of RFID tagging and infrastructure business at NXP Semiconductors, added that "continuous innovation, advanced technologies and ultra-secure transactions will transform how we shop online".