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Visa launches Visa Wave for contactless card payments
Posted on 27-Apr-2004 17:57. | Tags Filed under: News.

Visa launches Visa Wave for contactless card payments
Visa Asia Pacific announced Visa Wave, the first Visa contactless smart card that is fully compatible with global EMV smart card standard. With Visa Wave, no signature is required and there is no need to hand the card to the cashier - simply wave, pay and go. Visa Wave allows consumers a fast and convenient way to make payment within seconds. The world's first Visa Wave cards are issued by MBF Cards in Malaysia and the first live transactions were made today at a launch ceremony in a Delifrance restaurant outlet in the popular shopping mall at KLCC.

Payments are done via Radio Frequency (RF). By simply holding the Visa Wave card at a close range from the payment reader, the card will be detected. Visa Wave is fully compatible with the global EMV smart card specification that is currently being adopted by banks around the world. Visa Wave can also be used at conventional EMV contact readers in contact mode.

MBF Cards in Malaysia is the world's first Visa Wave card issuer and will issue 2000 cards to consumers in this trial that runs from now to 31 August 2004. Visa Wave cardholders are able to wave and pay with their card at more than 150 merchant locations in Kuala Lumpur.

When requested for payment, the cardholder can simply wave the Visa Wave card at a close range (4cm) from the payment reader. The antenna, a thin copper wire inside the Visa Wave card, then sends an RF signal, transferring information to a reader connected to the merchant's point-of-sale terminal. The transaction is then processed through Visa's trusted payment network, as with all other conventional transactions.

Visa Wave is a 'combi' chip card with both contact and contactless interfaces. Payment transactions can be done in contactless mode at Visa Wave terminals, and also in traditional contact mode at 22 million locations worldwide through either swiping or inserting the card into a smart card reader. It can also be used to withdraw cash at over 870,000 ATMs globally.

According to the company, Visa's chip initiatives have enabled Visa member banks to issue more than 100 million Visa smart cards that conform to the international EMV standard - more than any other international payment brand. In Asia Pacific, 20 million Visa EMV smart cards have been issued under the Visa Smart card program.

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