ICICI Bank, the country’s largest private sector one, on Wednesday announced the launch of the country’s first ‘contactless’ debit and credit cards.
These enable customers to make electronic payments by waving the cards near a merchant terminal instead of dipping or swiping these.
These cards are based on the near-field communication technology, which provides customers improved speed to complete a transaction, and enhanced security as they remain under the control of the customer.
The Bank’s ‘Coral Contactless Credit Card’ and ‘Expressions Wave Debit Card’ are powered by ‘MasterCard contactless’ and ‘Visa payWave’ technologies, respectively.
The ‘ICICI Bank Expressions Wave Debit Card’ also comes with a host of benefits including dining offers at more than 800 restaurants, complimentary access to airport lounges, Rajiv Sabharwal, Executive Director, ICICI Bank said, “We expect this to be a big game changer in the Indian payment industry. The key advantages of these cards are speed and security. The speed of transactions will add momentum to high value payments. Also, the level of security is higher since the card doesn’t leave the customer during the transaction process.”
The Bank has introduced these cards in Gurgaon, Hyderabad and Mumbai to begin with. Over 1200 Electronic Data Capture (EDC) machines capable of accepting contactless payments have been set-up across merchants in these cities. The merchants include quick service restaurants, coffee shops, shopping marts and fuel stations where fast transactions are required. The bank plans to shortly extend this facility to other cities as well.
Ari Sarker, country corporate officer and division president, South Asia, MasterCard, 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.
The ‘ICICI Bank Coral Contactless Credit Card’ offers 2X reward points on dining, groceries and at supermarkets, dining offers at more than 800 restaurants and complimentary access to airport lounges among other benefits.
According to Uttam Nayak, group country manager, India & South Asia, and global head emerging markets Digital, Visa, contactless payments are designed to replace the use of cash in busy retail environments where speed and convenience are important, such as supermarkets, convenience stores, and quick-service restaurants.
The ‘ICICI Bank Expressions Wave Debit Card’ also comes with a host of benefits including dining offers at more than 800 restaurants, complimentary access to airport lounges, free accident insurance and purchase protection.
Both the contactless credit and debit cards can be used as regular cards at all MasterCard/Visa enabled merchant terminals, even those which are not enabled for contactless transactions.