Combining Visa Wave contactless payment technology and Near Field Communication, Visa International has launched a pilot program in Malaysia that will allow its 200 participants to pay for transactions via a cell phone.
Visa takes contactless payment technologies to greater heights
SINGAPORE–Visa International, in collaboration with Maybank, Maxis Communications Berhad (Maxis) and Nokia, has launched the world’s first Mobile Visa Wave Payment Pilot in Malaysia. Two hundred participants who are both Maybankard Visa cardholders and Maxis mobile phone subscribers will participate in the four-month trial beginning today.
Mobile Visa Wave Payment in Malaysia is unique in that it combines Near Field Communications (NFC) with Visa Wave Contactless Card technologies, building on the successes of the existing Visa Wave contactless card platform. Mobile Visa Wave Payment can be made across all merchants in Malaysia that have Visa Wave-supported terminals. No change to the current acceptance infrastructure is required.
Paul Jung, Visa Asia Pacific’s Regional Head for Emerging Products and Technology, said: “The completion of the national migration to EMV chip, coupled with the widespread use of wireless technology in Malaysia, has created numerous payment opportunities far beyond that of the simple swipe of a card. Mobile Visa Wave Payment shows innovative use of the latest technologies to increase convenience and provide secure transactions for cardholders on the move.”
Visa Wave is a major milestone in contactless card payment and chip innovation. Payments are done via NFC, using Radio Frequency (RF), much like those used in mass transit environments. By simply holding the Visa Wave card at a close range (4cm) from the specially installed payment reader, the card will be detected and transaction processed.
Visa International’s country manager for Malaysia, Jeffrey Perera, said Malaysia was the first country in the world to launch Visa Wave contactless card technology in 2004 and is now the first to launch Mobile Visa Wave Payment.
“Visa is the global leader in contactless payments with four million contactless cards issued in Malaysia, Taiwan, Korea and the United States. We introduced Visa Wave to Malaysia two years ago to the day, and now there are 2,500 outlets in Malaysia that accept Visa Wave. Currently there are more than 160,000 Visa Wave cards issued in Malaysia and we are targeting 600,000 cards by end-2006. By the end of this year, about 10 percent all Visa payment cards are expected to carry the Wave functionality and within the next three to five years, Visa Wave cards will be the norm rather than the exception,” added Perera.
In Malaysia, the pilot Maybankard Visa Wave-enabled phone is two products in one. The Nokia 3220 model operates as a standard mobile phone connected to the Maxis network and, with the built-in Visa Wave function, can also be used to wave and pay wherever a Visa Wave sign is displayed. Cardholders selected for the pilot will be issued a phone pre-programmed with their regular Maybankard Visa Wave card information. And, of course, they can continue to use the physical card at Visa’s 27 million merchant locations and more than one million ATMs worldwide.
Convenience and Security
Inside the Visa Wave-enabled phone cover is a secure chip and an antenna that sends an RF signal to the terminal, transferring payment information quickly and securely, to a reader connected to the merchant’s card terminal. By simply holding the phone at close range to the specially-installed payment reader at participating merchant outlets, the payment details will be detected and the transaction processed.
The Mobile Visa Wave Payment is embedded with a chip that uses the latest cryptography, security and smart card technologies, making it highly secure. The transaction only works when the Mobile Visa Wave phone is in close contact with a terminal, thereby ensuring that the cardholder’s information cannot be intercepted en route from the card to the terminal. Additional security features, which are based on industry-wide global standards, are built into point-of-sale terminals that accept Visa Wave.
Visa Wave Trail Blazes Contactless Payments
In addition to the rapid take-up in Malaysia, Visa Wave programs in other parts of Asia Pacific – one in Korea and two in Taiwan – are also immensely popular. In Korea, Visa Wave has partnered with leading retailer, Tesco, to create a co-branded card that is now deployed through 66 nationwide stores with more than 50,000 cardholders. In Taiwan, Visa has collaborated with Watsons and Costco. The Watsons co-branded program has attracted more than 60,000 cardholders, and the card is accepted at more than 400 stores nationwide, while the CostCo co-branded card has 240,000 cardholders to date.
“Merchants, noting that consumers are embracing Visa Wave, are very pleased with the faster-moving queues,” said Jung. “Cardholders like the high-tech feel of Visa Wave and the fact that it’s so easy to use, saving them time and bother from having to search for small change.”
These observations were backed by a recent NFC and contactless payment technology study in the US by Visa International and Philip Electronics. The study showed that consumers like the convenience, ease of use and trendy aspects of making secure transactions with their mobile phones. Retail purchases with the mobile phone were particularly well received, as participants found the NFC technology and Visa contactless payments easy to understand, convenient and fast.
For further information on Mobile Visa Wave, please visit:
About Visa: Visa connects cardholders, merchants and financial institutions through the world’s largest electronic payments network. Visa products allow buyers and sellers to conduct commerce with ease and confidence in both the physical and virtual worlds. As an association owned by more than 20,000 member financial institutions, Visa is committed to the sustained growth of electronic payment systems to support the needs of all stakeholders and to drive economic growth. For more information, visit www.corporate.visa.com.
About Visa Asia Pacific: In Asia Pacific, Visa has a greater market share than all other payment card brands combined with 62 percent of all card purchases at the point of sale being made using Visa cards. There are currently 277 million Visa-branded cards in the region. For the 12 months ended December 2005, US$579 billion was spent at point of sale or withdrawn from ATMs in Asia Pacific using Visa cards. Visa Asia Pacific’s internet address is www.visa-asia.com.
About Maybank: The Maybank Group offers a comprehensive suite of financial solutions, services and products, ranging from commercial banking, investment banking, Islamic banking, offshore banking and leasing to hire purchase. It also offers insurance, factoring, trustee services, asset management, stockbroking, nominee services, discount-house business, unit trust fund management, venture capital and auto finance services. As the largest financial services group in Malaysia, with 420 branches and 1,000 ATMs, Maybank continuously enhances and leverages on Group synergy as well as technology to adapt to the changing needs of its clients and the environment to provide high value seamless financial services and solutions as well as banking convenience to its customers.
About Maxis Communications Berhad: Maxis is Malaysia’s leading telecommunications company and market leader that provides high quality voice and data services to close to 8 million customers. Its mobile postpaid and prepaid services are offered under the Maxis and Hotlink brands respectively. The company reaffirmed its leading position through a clear strategy of developing premium brands, providing quality network and customer services and introducing innovative services and products. Maxis also offers domestic fixed line and international gateway services. Its broadband infrastructure includes fibre optic, microwave and VSAT technologies. Maxis’ regional footprint includes operations in Indonesia through subsidiary, PT Natrindo Telepon Seluler, and India through Aircel Limited. For more information on Maxis, please visit www.maxis.com.my.
About Nokia: Nokia is a world leader in mobile communications, driving the growth and sustainability of the broader mobility industry. Nokia connects people to each other and the information that matters to them with easy-to-use and innovative products like mobile phones, devices and solutions for imaging, games, media and businesses. Nokia provides equipment, solutions and services for network operators and corporations. www.nokia.com.
Explore more developments dealing with the implementation of Near Field Communications, a short-range wireless technology that promises to revolutionize contactless identification, payment, access, and more. Click to visit NFCNews.