ICICI Bank Brings PayWave NFC Cards For Contactless Payments
ICICI Bank, India’s largest private sector bank launched NFC enabled credit and debit cards that facilitates speedy contactless payments. ICICI is the first bank in the country to do so.
With these NFC enabled cards, consumers can just wave or touch their cards over the POS terminal at the merchant and payments can be made. There is no need for a swipe like in the case of traditional Debit or Credit cards. There is also no need any pin code for confirmation. NFC based cards are contactless cards in true sense.
Rajiv Sabharwal, ED, ICICI Bank had mentioned in the month of November that they expect NFC cards to be one of the biggest game changers in the payment industry. They have already tied up with over 200 merchants where consumers will be able to make NFC payments. The cards will be first introduced in Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Gurgaon. ICICI plans to extend it to other cities in a phased manner.
ICICI Bank has used existing NFC platforms developed by Visa Card and Master Card to carry forward the payments by contact less cards. Initially, it will be available through Visa payWave and will later extended to payPass by Master Card.
Besides this, ICICI Bank has also tied up with Delhi Metro for issuing NFC enabled Metro cards which can also be used as credit and debit cards outside Metro.
These NFC cards can also be used at normal swipe and pay terminals in places where NFC terminals are not available.
The Pin Problem
Although ICICI bank has launched these contactless cards, current RBI guidelines for card payments state that all consumers need to enter a pin to authorize all card payments. RBI had recently mentioned that they will soon come out with guidelines that will do away with requirement of pin code (or 2 factor authentication) for small payments. However, no such directive have been passed just yet.
Will NFC Payment Be popular?
NFC card payments are gaining popularity all over the world. The ease and comfort of contactless payments is surely a big advantage. Most of the new flagship smartphones are now launched with NFC chip built-in.
Apple iPhone 6 and 6 plus provides NFC payment mechanism using their Apple Pay platform, which was one of the major selling points of the new handset. Apple has tied up with major retailers all over USA and teamed up with more than 25 USA based Banks to support this blazing fast payment mode.
NFC Payment system was recently introduced in Australia, and nearly half of the market has now adapted this method, surprising even the most hardcore financial experts. As per reports coming in, contact less payment transactions has tripled in Europe, due to the ease and time-saving factors.
In India, if merchant terminals are available where contactless NFC cards can be used, most consumers will prefer to pay that way. Other banks also need to join the fray, and it is sure to get popularity in India!