Visa has issued over one million NFC contactless cards and has over 100,000 merchant locations which can accept NFC cards and transactions, the card payments network has said. However, NFC cards have a long way to go in gaining acceptance. Visa’s NFC cards form a tiny part of India’s card payments system which has over 661.8 million debit cards and 24.5 credit cards as of March 2016.
Some of the merchants which can accept Visa’s NFC cards include retailers such as Big Bazaar, Future Bazaar, Dominos, Vishal Mega Mart, etc. In May, State Bank of India (SBI), the country’s largest lender, said that it has issued 30,000 NFC terminals. SBI said it would be looking at converting 100,000 point-of-sale (POS) terminals in eight cities in the country when it launched NFC cards in 2015.
SBI chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya also added that the bank would be converting all cards of existing customers to contactless cards. Meawhile, ICICI Bank, the largest private sector bank, has installed NFC terminals at over 900 merchants since their launch of their contactless cards in January 2015.
In March 2015, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) eased the norms for payments made using NFC-based cards and said that transactions below Rs 2,000 will not need a additional factor of authentication i.e. entering a PIN or signing transaction receipts. However, the RBI has maintained that two-factor authentication will still be in effect for ATM transactions and card not present transactions.
Visa payWave contactless cards have an embedded antenna and microchip, which will enable contactless communication with a reader at the checkout. The transaction is processed through its global network, VisaNet, which processes all Visa transactions.
Mobile payments via QR code
In August 2015, Visa launched a service called mVisa that would allow consumers can make cardless purchases, pay bills and send money to friends and family members through QR codes. Customers will have to download the mVisa application to their smartphone and link their Visa debit, credit or prepaid card to the application. mVisa enables consumers to pay for purchases in stores and online by simply initiating a transfer of funds from their account to the merchant’s account by scanning a QR code.