Visa Introduces Contactless Mini Card, Making Payments Faster and More Convenient than Ever

Visa Introduces Contactless Mini Card, Making Payments Faster and More Convenient than Ever

Industry’s First Commercially Scalable Alternative Form Factor for Contactless Payments Now Available for Issuance

SAN FRANCISCO, March 16, 2006–Visa today announced the availability of the Visa Contactless Mini Card, delivering all of the speed of contactless payments in a card that is about half the size of a traditional payment card and easy to carry on a key ring. The new Contactless Mini Card is the industry’s first alternative contactless form factor that is ready for large-scale commercial deployment.

The Visa Contactless Mini Card is issued as a complementary card to a Visa credit or debit card. The card includes a small hole in the lower left corner so it can be easily attached to a key chain. This eliminates the need to pull out a card from a wallet or a purse and makes payments via Visa Contactless more convenient than ever. Like the standard-sized Visa Contactless card, the Contactless Mini Card has an embedded contactless chip and antenna that deliver the contactless functionality, as well as a magnetic stripe to ensure that consumers can use the card wherever Visa is accepted.

“Sometimes the biggest advances for consumers are the smallest, and that’s true for the Visa Contactless Mini Card,” said Elizabeth Buse, executive vice president, product development and management, Visa USA. “At half the size of a standard Visa card, it’s convenient to carry and simple to use. That ease of use will help continue the momentum behind Visa Contactless, as we offer more payment choices to cardholders.”

Issuer, merchant, and cardholder interest in contactless payments continues to surge. Visa research shows that the mini card is the second most preferred form factor after the standard-sized card, with the majority of consumers stating that they would be interested in adding contactless functionality to a mini card. Now Visa issuers can offer both standard-sized and mini contactless cards to their cardholders in full, large-scale deployment.

The launch of the Visa Contactless Mini Card was made possible through the expansion of the Visa Smart Breakthrough program, which resulted in a new, cost-effective, and more flexible contactless chip solution. Visa worked with its partners in card technology and manufacturing to reduce the size of the antenna embedded in a contactless device. In addition to mini cards, the new contactless solution has the flexibility to support other form factors, including 3D key fobs, mobile phones and other handheld devices. The Visa Contactless Mini Card is the only alternative contactless form factor in the U.S. that today can be issued as a companion card to all of the standard-sized cards in Visa’s U.S. cardholder base.

“The mini card is the latest example of Visa’s approach to technology innovation – we believe in developing ideas that offer true value and are designed to be successful on a commercial scale,” Buse said. “Our partners in the industry expect nothing less from Visa.”

About Visa USA

Visa USA is the nation’s leading payment brand and largest payment system, enabling banks to provide their consumers and business customers with a wide variety of payment alternatives tailored to meet their evolving needs. Visa USA is committed to increasing the choice, convenience, acceptance, and security of Visa payments for all stakeholders in the payment system – Members, cardholders and merchants. Through its 13,420 Member financial institutions, more than 488 million Visa-branded cards have been issued to cardholders in the United States. Last year, U.S.-based financial institutions relied on Visa’s processing system, VisaNet, to facilitate $1.3 trillion in transactions with unparalleled reliability.

Worldwide, cardholders in over 150 countries carry more than 1 billion Visa-branded cards, accounting for more than $3 trillion in annual transaction volume.

Visa offers a trusted, reliable and convenient way to access and mobilize financial resources – anytime, anywhere, anyway.


Al de Leon
Fleishman Hillard