India’s ICICI Bank has announced the launch of ‘contactless’ debit and credit cards which are based on the near field communication (NFC) technology.
The ‘Coral Contactless Credit Card’ and ‘Expressions Wave Debit Card’ are said to be powered by ‘MasterCard contactless’ and ‘Visa payWave’ technologies, respectively.
Using the cards, customers will be able to make electronic payments by waving them near the merchant terminal in lieu of dipping or swiping them.
The cards, which are initially introduced in Gurgaon, Hyderabad and Mumbai, require less time compared to traditional cards to complete a transaction along with enhanced security and remain in control of the customer.
ICICI Bank has set-up more than 1200 EDC machines that are capable of accepting contactless payments across merchants in the cities, with plans to extend the facility to other cities as well.
The merchants include quick service restaurants, coffee shops, shopping marts and fuel stations.
ICICI Bank executive director Rajiv Sabharwal said: "We are delighted to partner with MasterCard and Visa to introduce the country’s first credit and debit card enabled with the contactless payment technology.
"The key advantages of these cards are speed and security. The speed of transactions will add momentum to high value payments."
MasterCard South Asia country corporate officer and division president Ari Sarker said: "The launch of contactless technology marks a milestone in the Indian payment industry as it joins a select group of markets which has access to this unique offering."
Image: ICICI branch located in Knightsbridge, London. Photo: courtesy of Karthik Nadar