ICICI Bank, the country’s largest private sector bank, has launched its NFC-based credit and debit cards which allows customers to wave their cards near the merchant terminal instead of swiping them. The bank’s Coral Contactless Credit Card and Expressions Wave Debit Card are powered by ‘MasterCard contactless’ and ‘Visa payWave’ technologies, respectively.
ICICI Bank executive director Rajiv Sabharwal had earlier said that they had tied up with 200 merchants for the NFC cards. The cards will be introduced first in Gurgaon, Hyderabad and Mumbai and the bank plans to extend this to other cities as well.
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 much required. The bank also allows you to customize your cards. Some of the merchants who have got into NFC payments include D Mart, Ratnadeep Super Market and Balaji Grand Bazaar. A full list here of the merchants here.
Both the contactless credit and debit cards can can also be used as regular cards at all MasterCard/Visa enabled merchant terminals, even those which are not enabled for contactless transactions. It’s worth noting that the Reserve Bank of India still insists on entering a PIN for credit card transactions and ICICI Bank’s new cards will require the same . However, the RBI has said that it will come out with guidelines for single-factor authentication for small payments.
State Bank of India, the country’s largest bank, had also sought permission from RBI to introduce NFC enabled cards which will allow customers to carry out transactions of up to Rs 2000 without entering the ATM pin number at point-of-sale (PoS) terminals.