New Visa payWave Issuers and Merchants Sign Up for Faster, More Convenient Payments

New Visa payWave Issuers and Merchants Sign Up for Faster, More Convenient Payments

SAN FRANCISCO, September 20, 2007–Visa International, a global leader in electronic payments, announced continued progress in the adoption of innovative contactless-based payments around the world. Visa payWave, Visa’s name for its contactless technology feature, allows cardholders to wave their card in front of contactless payment terminals without the need to physically swipe or insert the card into a point-of-sale device.

Since first testing contactless payment technology more than five years ago, Visa has seen progress towards more widespread adoption. Today, with 41 issuers in 11 countries, Visa payWave has been a bright spot for new payment technologies, providing a more secure, convenient and quick alternative to cash. Cardholders in Asia, Europe, Latin America and the United States are able to use their Visa payWave-enabled cards at some of the world’s largest merchants, including McDonald’s, Carrefour, Costco, Tesco, 7-Eleven and BP.

“It has been an exciting few years as we have seen contactless payments emerge and now begin to mature into a global payment feature that is designed to enable faster, more convenient and secure transactions,” said Gaylon Howe, executive vice president of Global Products, Strategy and Innovation, Visa International. “As we continue to support Visa payWave programs around the world, we look forward to encouraging broader adoption of this new, convenient way to pay and be paid.”

In recent months, new merchants and issuers have joined a growing list of businesses taking advantage of the speed and convenience of Visa payWave. Visa has also been able to work with merchants who have never accepted cards before, introducing electronic payments to brand new merchant categories, such as public transit, taxis, vending machines, concessions and parking meters.

Asia Pacific

  • Nineteen issuers in Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia and Singapore have national contactless programs.

  • This week, Visa joined Union Bank of Taiwan and Carrefour Taiwan, a hypermarket, to announce the launch of the Carrefour Visa payWave card. “As the largest hypermarket in Taiwan, Carrefour has high consumer traffic, so there is a strong need for a fast and convenient payment system. We are delighted to partner with Visa and Union Bank of Taiwan to launch the Carrefour Visa payWave card, as well as the Visa payWave payment platform to provide a convenient payment solution to our customers,” said Guillaume Deruyter, Carrefour’s Chief Financial Officer.

  • This week Visa also announced the launch of a landmark mobile payment trial with Chunghwa Telecom and Chinatrust Commercial Bank. The Visa payWave application will enable trial participants to make contactless purchases at any of the 3,000 stores that accept Visa payWave contactless cards in Taiwan.

  • Al Rajhi Bank in Malaysia is the first Islamic financial institution in Asia Pacific to launch a contactless program. The Riyadh-based bank opened its first international operations in Malaysia in February 2007 and currently only issues Visa payment cards, including Visa payWave.

  • In July 2007, Singapore’s United Overseas Bank launched the “UOB One Card” with Visa payWave as well as a rewards platform, offering cardholders annual cash rebates without having to track or redeem points. At the time of launch there were more than 300 local acceptance locations such as cafes, cinemas, restaurants and fashion outlets in the country. Ben and Jerry’s stores, Anderson’s Ice-cream, and the Sandwich Shop, three merchants who previously had not accepted Visa cards for payment, began accepting Visa payWave for faster, easier transactions as part of the launch.

  • In Taiwan, Visa payWave can be used for purchasing tickets at all eight stations of the Taiwan High Speed Railway, all stations of the Taiwan Railway and all 40 stations of King Bus, one of the biggest trans-Taiwan coach bus services.

  • In Taiwan, four banks have issued Visa payWave co-brand cards with the EasyCard function, the payment application for fares in the greater Taipei transit system. Cardholders can wave their cards at the fare gate and pay by EasyCard function and use the Visa contactless function at local merchant locations accepting Visa contactless payments. “With Visa payWave, we have combined the widely accepted Visa credit card with EasyCard, the contactless e-purse based payment card for paying fares on the Taipei Metro and buses,” said Michael Chang, Credit Card Division Director, from Chinatrust Commercial Bank in Taiwan. “This not only offers Taiwan consumers a faster and more comprehensive contactless payment service, but helps generate compelling business opportunities for the bank.”

  • Close collaboration with merchants such as Costco and Watsons Your Personal Store, have helped introduce Taiwanese consumers to the speed and convenience of contactless. At Watsons Your Personal Store in Taiwan, retailers reported a 77 percent drop in average queuing time for customers where Visa payWave was accepted[1]. “Visa payWave enables consumers to complete a whole transaction in as little as four seconds, significantly reducing queuing time and increasing consumer satisfaction,” said Ian Cruddas, Managing Director, Watsons Personal Care Stores Taiwan. “In addition to facilitating increased service standards, Visa payWave helps Watsons improve operational efficiency by reducing the time and cost of processing cash.”


  • Five Visa Europe member banks–HSBC Bank, HBOS, Lloyds TSB, RBS and Barclays–have been acquiring Visa payWave merchants in London and began issuing Visa payWave cards in September 2007.

  • Also in September, Barclaycard launched the new multifunction Barclaycard OnePulse, developed in partnership with Transport for London[i] and TranSys[ii]. Barclaycard OnePulse features three separate functions on a single card – Visa payWave contactless technology for speedy purchases of 10 pounds sterling and under, the standard Chip and PIN credit/debit card facility for larger purchases and the Oyster smartcard fare application for use when traveling around London.

  • Visa is working with issuers in France, Spain and Turkey to test Visa payWave in those countries. Societe Generale announced a pilot program in the Paris La Defense business district. La Caixa will introduce the first Visa payWave cards in Spain with acceptance in high volume retail environments such as coffee shops, grocery stores and newsagents. Denizbank announced in Istanbul a Visa payWave pilot program with the “Sea & Miles” card that is the first EMV-based contactless program in Turkey.

  • Visa payWave will also be used in a mobile payment trial in Germany, with the Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund, a transit agency in the greater Frankfurt area. The project, RMV2go, has already been testing mobile ticketing. The first phase of the trial this autumn will involve Visa payWave and NFC (near field communication) enabled readers in retail locations at mainline railway stations between the Frankfurt airport and the city center.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Four Visa members in Guatemala have been testing Visa payWave payments, with acceptance in quick service restaurants, cinemas and retail stores since November 2006.

United States

  • In the United States, seven of the top ten Visa issuers are offering Visa credit, debit and prepaid cards with Visa payWave technology.

  • First Citizen Bank–headquartered in Columbia, SC–and Barclays started to issue Visa payWave cards in August 2007, bringing the total number of Visa payWave issuers in the U.S. to thirteen. “Barclays is one of the most innovative credit card companies in the world by providing innovative and customized products to our cardholders and business partners,” said Lloyd M. Wirshba, CEO of Barclays U.S. credit card business. “The new Visa payWave card from Barclays and BJ’s Wholesale Club enables our cardholders to make faster and more convenient transactions and helps our partners achieve maximum results from their co-branded credit card offerings.”

  • National merchants already accepting Visa payWave in the U.S. include BP, 7 Eleven, CVS Pharmacy, McDonalds, Taco Bell, Jack in the Box and more.

  • A number of national merchants are in the process of upgrading point of sale terminals and have announced plans to accept Visa payWave, including Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Circle K, Office Depot, and PETCO. Consumers can search for merchants accepting Visa payWave in the U.S. by visiting Visa’s web site at

  • To help educate consumers about the simplicity of making Visa payWave transactions, Visa launched a national integrated marketing campaign highlighting the speed and convenience of contactless purchases. Visa payWave advertising is featured at

  • Visa payWave is also being used on the mobile platform, through a pilot program with Wells Fargo Bank using contactless and NFC for payment and mobile couponing technologies.

About Visa

Visa operates the world’s largest retail electronic payments network providing processing services and payment product platforms. This includes consumer credit, debit, prepaid and commercial payments, which are offered under the Visa, Visa Electron, Interlink and PLUS brands. Visa enjoys unsurpassed acceptance around the world and Visa/PLUS is one of the world’s largest global ATM networks, offering cash access in local currency in more than 170 countries. For more information, visit