Visa introduces Visa payWave™ in Canada

Visa introduces Visa payWave™ in Canada

Visa’s contactless technology offers convenience and the security benefits of chip card technology

Toronto, ON, May 2, 2007–Visa Canada Association today announced the availability of its contactless technology, Visa payWave, in the Canadian market. Visa payWave-enabled products will deliver speed and convenience to participating merchants and Visa® cardholders while offering the security benefits inherent in EMV chip technology.

“Visa Members in the U.S. and Asia-Pacific have successfully deployed contactless technology starting in 2005,” said Michael Bradley, Vice President, Products at Visa Canada. “In Canada, Visa payWave will leverage our Members’ investment in chip security, and offer customers a fast and convenient way to pay.”

For merchants, Visa payWave will offer benefits including faster transaction times, increased ticket size, card usage, and customer loyalty. “Visa’s global experience has shown that both retailers and consumers support contactless programs because they allow payments to be transacted faster and are more convenient than cash for smaller ticket items,” continued Bradley.

Visa payWave builds on the success of Visa’s “No Signature Required” (NSR) program as it offers merchants in traditionally cash-heavy, smaller ticket businesses with a payment option that can decrease check-out times. Currently, the NSR program does not require a cardholder signature for purchases of $25 or less at certain merchant locations such as fast food restaurants, movie theatres, parking lots, variety and convenience stores, news stands and video/DVD rental stores. Visa payWave-enabled products will offer quicker transaction times and leverage the security of chip card technology.

The introduction of Visa payWave in Canada follows the January 2007 Visa mobile platform announcement that paves the way for deployment of mobile payments and services. It is also closely aligned with the Visa migration to chip card technology, as Visa payWave was developed using a standard for global interoperability and fraud prevention. Visa employs technology both on the card itself as well as on Visa’s processing network to help prevent fraud.

Visa payWave in Canada is based on EMV chip technology, which can securely store and encrypt confidential information. An EMV chip is virtually impossible to copy and uses a standard 128-bit encryption technology to generate a cryptogram that uniquely identifies each transaction. No two cards share the same key, and the key is not transmitted.

To use a Visa payWave-enabled product, cardholders simply wave their card or device near a secure reader at checkout, instead of swiping it. All other aspects of a Visa payWave transaction are handled in the same way as a traditional Visa transaction.

“Because Visa uses encrypted data, even if a fraudster attempts to ‘read’ the information from a Visa payWave-enabled transaction, the information would be useless,” added Bradley.

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. Visa is committed to the sustained growth of electronic payment systems to support the needs of all stakeholders and to drive economic growth.

Visa products currently generate more than $US 4 trillion in sales volume worldwide. Visa enjoys unsurpassed acceptance around the world. In addition, Visa/Plus is one of the world’s largest global ATM networks, offering access to cash in local currency in over 170 countries. Within Canada, financial institutions have issued more than 29 million Visa cards, accounting for $168 billion in sales volume in 2006. For more information, visit


Amy Cole
Visa Canada
(m) 416-558-8215