The country’s largest private lender, ICICI Bank, on Wednesday launched contactless debit and credit cards that would work on the near-field communication (NFC) technology. These cards would enable customers to transact on a point-of-sale (PoS) terminal by just waving the card near the terminal.
“The near-field communication (NFC) technology provides customers an improved speed as these cards require significantly less time than traditional cards to complete a transaction along with enhanced security as they remain in control of the customer,” said the bank in a statement.
The bank’s Coral Contactless Credit Card and Expressions Wave Debit Card are powered by MasterCard contactless and Visa payWave technologies, respectively. These cards have been introduced in Gurgaon, Hyderabad and Mumbai to begin with and over 1,200 machines that would accept contactless payment have been set-up across merchants in these cities.
“The merchants are restaurants, coffee shops, shopping marts and fuel stations where fast transactions are much required,” the bank said, adding that it plans to shortly extend this facility to other cities as well.
Rajiv Sabharwal, executive director, ICICI Bank said in a statement, “The key advantages of these cards are speed and security. The speed of transactions will add momentum to high-value payments.”
He added these cards will herald a shift from low-value cash payment to cards, thereby, bringing payment in quick service restaurants and shopping marts too under the formal channel.
Moreover, Sabharwal said, since the card doesn’t leave the customer at any point during the transaction, the level of security is higher. Both the credit and debit cards can be used as regular cards at all MasterCard or Visa-enabled merchant terminals.
In September, SBI had said it planned to launch contactless debit cards and had sought RBI permission to allow transactions below Rs 2,000 without a pin.