India’s largest private sector bank, ICICI Bank became the first in the country to launch contactless debit and credit card in India. It will enable users to make electronic payments by just waving the cards near the merchant terminals in lieu of dipping or swiping them.
image source: icici bank
As per ICICI Bank, these cards are based on the Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, which provides customers the improved convenience of 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.
The Bank has introduced these cards in Gurgaon, Hyderabad and Mumbai to begin with. Over 1200 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 much required. The Bank plans to shortly extend this facility to other cities as well.
Speaking at the launch, Mr. Rajiv Sabharwal, Executive Director, ICICI Bank 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. We expect this to be a big game changer in the Indian payment industry.
Mr. 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.
According to Mr. 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 quickservice restaurants.
ICICI bank has launched two cards with the new technology i.e. the Coral contactless credit cards and the Expressions wave debit cards and 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.
The Bank’s ‘Coral Contactless Credit Card’ and ‘Expressions Wave Debit Card’ are powered by ‘MasterCard contactless’ and ‘Visa payWave’ technologies, respectively.