Visa Launches Visa Wave For Contactless Card Payments

Visa Launches Visa Wave For Contactless Card Payments

World’s First Implementation with MBF Cards and Merchants in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR, April 27 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/–Visa Asia Pacific today announced Visa Wave, the first-ever Visa contactless smart card that is fully compatible with global EMV smart card standard. With Visa Wave, no signature is required and there is no need to hand the card to the cashier–simply wave, pay and go. Visa Wave allows consumers a fast and convenient way to make payment within seconds. The world’s first Visa Wave cards are issued by MBF Cards in Malaysia and the first live transactions were made today at a launch ceremony in a Delifrance restaurant outlet in the popular shopping mall at KLCC.

Visa Wave represents a major milestone in contactless card payment and chip innovation. Payments are done via Radio Frequency (RF), much like those used in mass transit environments. By simply holding the Visa Wave card at a close range from the specially installed payment reader, the card will be detected. Visa Wave is built on interoperable standards, including full compatibility with the global EMV smart card specification that is currently being adopted by banks around the world and in Asia Pacific. Visa Wave can also be used at conventional EMV contact readers in contact mode.

MBF Cards in Malaysia is the world’s first Visa Wave card issuer and will issue 2000 cards to consumers in this trial that runs from now to 31 August 2004. Visa Wave cardholders are able to wave and pay with their card at more than 150 merchant locations in Kuala Lumpur including outlets of: Baker’s Cottage, Caring Pharmacy, Delifrance, Dunkin Donuts, Fajar Dept Store and Supermarket, Famous Amos, Golden Oven, Hoca Coffee, Jaya Jeans Sdn Bhd, La Cucur, Strudels, Toycity, Victoria Music Centre, Memory Lane, Skipper Seafood,Pasaraya,TC Permata, Edwin, Brothers, Hallmark, P.K Time Sdn Bhd. and Key Color. More merchants will be added throughout the trial. Distinct Visa Wave acceptance signages are displayed at all these participating merchant outlets to make merchant recognition easy. Pending successful results from the trial, Visa intends to introduce Visa Wave to other markets in Asia Pacific.

Visa Asia Pacific’s Head of Products, Emerging Products and Technology, Gordon Cooper said, “Visa Wave contactless payment is designed to drive card payments into traditionally cash-based retail environments where speed and convenience are important, such as convenience stores, petrol stations, transit, quick-service restaurants and cinemas. Visa is continually seeking new technological advances to enhance the payment experience.”

Jeffrey Perera, Visa Asia Pacific’s Country Manager, Malaysia, Brunei and Guam, said, “We are delighted that the world’s first Visa Wave contactless payment is rolling out in Malaysia and to have MBF Cards as our partner for this momentous launch. Under the strong leadership of the Association of Banks in Malaysia and Bank Negara, Malaysia is one of the most aggressive markets worldwide in the migration to EMV chip cards and terminals. Such forward- looking move will ensure that Malaysia is able to manage fraud in the payment system. As the major payment brand, Visa’s key focus is to support Malaysia in their commitment to migrate to chip at a country-level. Visa Wave brings Malaysia’s EMV chip migration process to a new level by offering consumers new value and a very compelling way to pay with EMV chip cards, while at the same time leveraging banks’ investment in EMV chip technology.”

“It’s great for Malaysia to be chosen for the roll-out platform of Visa’s first contactless card in the world. We are even more privileged that MBF has been picked for the pilot project,” said Al Alagappan, President, MBF Cards. “MBF Cards’ guiding principle is ‘Enriching our card members’ lives through practical innovation’. This contactless card is indeed a practical innovation that will make our card members use their card,” he said.

Since last year, Visa has conducted extensive focus group research among consumers between the ages of 20 and 35 in Malaysia to test the appeal of contactless card products. The majority of consumers in the research find the concept of contactless payment appealing. Consumers surveyed expressed an interest in using the contactless interface of the card for quick and easy payment of low-ticket purchases. Supermarkets and fast food chains are among the top retail locations that consumers will use for contactless payments.

Making Payment using Visa Wave

When requested for payment, the cardholder can simply wave the Visa Wave card at a close range of 4cm from the payment reader. The antenna–a thin copper wire inside the Visa Wave card, then sends an RF signal, transferring information quickly and securely to a reader connected to the merchant’s point-of-sale terminal. The transaction is then processed through Visa’s highly reliable and trusted payment network, as with all other conventional transactions.

Visa Wave is a ‘combi’ chip card with both contact and contactless interfaces. Payment transactions can be done in contactless mode at Visa Wave terminals, and also in traditional contact mode at 22 million locations worldwide through either swiping or inserting the card into a smart card reader. It can also be used to withdraw cash at over 870,000 ATMs globally.

Visa has taken a leadership role in working with industry partners in developing EMV chip products such as Visa Wave and services for its members. Visa’s chip initiatives have enabled Visa member banks to issue more than 100 million globally-accepted Visa smart cards that conform to the international EMV standard–more than any other international payment brand. In Asia Pacific, 20 million Visa EMV smart cards have been issued under the Visa Smart card program.

Visa International

Visa is the world’s leading payment brand generating nearly US$3 trillion spending at point of sale or withdrawn from ATMs. Visa has unsurpassed acceptance in more than 150 countries. The Visa organization plays a pivotal role in developing innovative payment products and technologies to benefit its 21,000 member financial institutions and their cardholders. Visa is a leader in Internet based payments and is pioneering the creation of u-commerce, or universal commerce, the ability to conduct commerce anywhere, anytime and any way. For more information, visit

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 more than 200 million Visa-branded cards in the region. During 2003, US$438 billion was spent at point of sale or withdrawn from ATMs in Asia Pacific using Visa cards. Visa Asia Pacific’s Internet address is