After announcing the roll-out of 2500 contactless card readers to merchants in Sydney and Melbourne, National Australia Bank will now be issuing cards capable of contactless payments.
One of the new readers
At first, only the bank's low rate Visa card will be issued with the contactless Visa payWave technology, but other card products will also start to be issued with it throughout next year. A spokesperson for NAB would not say how many cards it intends to issue in the immediate term. They said that users could request the new cards, but that certain customers would receive them without a request.
The contactless payments allow customers to just hold their cards near a reader to pay for purchases less than $100, without entering a PIN or signing.
"Contactless technology can significantly reduce transaction times, helping to speed up customer service and shorten those Christmas queues during the festive season," NAB Personal Banking's general manager cards and personal loans John Busselmaier said in a statement. "Studies have shown transactions can be up to three times faster with contactless technology than cash, which gives some valuable time back to our customers during this hectic end-of-year period."
The Commonwealth Bank has also been rolling out contactless terminals. It intends to have 2000 by the end of the year. It is, however, much further in its contactless card roll-out, based on MasterCard instead of Visa technology. It has issued over three million cards.