Wells Fargo to offer contactless payment cards
Wells Fargo has announced plans to begin offering a Wells Fargo Visa Platinum Credit Card and a Visa Signature Credit Card, both with Visa Contactless payments, starting in the second half of 2006.
To use the contactless credit cards, customers hold their card near a secure reader at the merchant's checkout instead of swiping the card or handing it to the cashier. Cardholders will still be able to use their card in the traditional way at more than 24 million Visa acceptance locations worldwide.
Cardholders will not need to sign for most purchases under US$25, and contactless payment-enabled merchants will not need to provide cardholders with a receipt for purchases under US$25 (unless one is requested by the customer).
Payment security The cards will offer built-in security with the WellsProtect programme, which protects cardholders against unauthorised transactions made at merchants, over the phone, on the internet, or at an ATM (when the cardholder reports such transactions promptly). The bank's ATM cards, cheque cards and credit cards are all covered by the protection programme.
The transfer of payment information from card is possible at only one to two inches from the point-of-sale reader unit, and the card generates a unique numeric code to track and secure each transaction. All other aspects of the contactless transaction are handled in the same way as any other credit card transaction through VisaNet payment processing network.
Merchant benefits Visa Contactless also offers the merchant a number of benefits, including the security of having less cash on-site, and the streamlining of store operations a little further because there's less cash to handle, so store staff have more time to focus on customer service, merchandising, and order fulfilment. Peter Ho, Wells Fargo Card Services' vice president and product manager, commented: "We believe our customers will benefit from the speed and convenience offered by this technology."
According to Brian Triplett, senior vice president of emerging product development for Visa, "Around the world, almost 4.5 million Visa cards are already equipped with the contactless feature and more than 30,000 merchant locations in the US accept contactless payments."
The cards will be personalised by First Data as part the processing services the company provides to Wells Fargo.