U.S. Bank to Issue Dual-Interface EMV Cards

In a first for the U.S. market, one of the country’s largest banks plans to begin issuing dual-interface EMV cards targeted at international travelers.

U.S. Bank today announced it would issue 20,000 Visa-branded EMV credit cards this month that can handle both contact and contactless chip transactions. The chips would go into its Flexiperks Travel Rewards card. The bank said it plans to put similar chips in other travel rewards cards in the coming year.

The cards work in contact EMV terminals, which require cardholders to enter PIN codes after they insert their cards into point-of-sale terminals. And the new cards also could be tapped on contactless terminals that support Visa's payWave application in the United States and abroad, but these will not be contactless EMV transactions, even in countries with contactless EMV terminals. They will use contactless magnetic-stripe format data on the cards. The cards, of course, support swipe transactions on less-secure magnetic stripe terminals in the United States.

With the new program, U.S. bank becomes one of the first major banks in the United States to issue any kind of EMV card. JPMorgan Chase in April said it would begin issuing its Palladium credit card, targeted at wealthy customers, starting this month, with other Chase cards to follow. And Wells Fargo also said in April it would start a trial, handing out EMV cards to 15,000 customers who are frequent travelers.

The small United Nations Federal Credit Union earlier issued what is believed to be the first EMV cards by a U.S.-based financial institution. There are a few other small U.S. issuers, which also are targeting EMV cards at their traveling clientele.

Volumes of EMV cards issued in the United States remain small, and it would be years before the massive U.S. market could roll out the more secure chip technology. The technology has been widely deployed in Europe and parts of Asia and Latin America.

While most merchants in Europe and other places rolling out EMV cards and terminals accept magnetic-stripe cards, cardholders who do not carry an EMV card have a hard time buying transit tickets or making other purchases from unattended point-of-sale terminals, especially in Europe.

But unlike the nascent EMV programs at the other banks, the new U.S. Bank EMV card is expected to be the first from a U.S. issuer to include a dual-interface chip. Oberthur Technologies is supplying the cards.

“While we believe EMV is important for our international travel cardholders, we are committed to driving contactless (and) mobile payments in the United States,” Cliff Cook, chief marketing officer for U.S. bank retail payment solutions, said in a statement.

The bank was also among the first to test contactless microSD cards in mobile phones. U.S. Bank employees trialed a payWave application on microSD cards in Apple’s iPhone and some BlackBerry handsets in 20 cities between November 2010 and March 2011. U.S.-based DeviceFidelity supplied the cards and special attachments for the iPhone.

 

HEADLINE NEWS

UnionPay Pushes Open-Loop Transit Payments, as It Seeks to Stay Competitive with Alipay and WeChat Pay

NFC TIMES Exclusive – China’s major bank card network China UnionPay is badly losing the battle for mobile payments market share against Ant Financial and Tencent Holdings, and now the two Internet giants have turned their attention to enabling mobile transit ticketing across the country.

Taiwan’s EasyCard Gives Stark Example of Problems Some Major Transit and E-Money Payments Providers Face in Enabling Mobile Payments

NFC TIMES Exclusive – HANOI, Vietnam: For several years, EasyCard Corp. of Taiwan has been seeking to enable its popular transit fare collection and retail e-money service for mobile and other digital payments, but it has hit several roadblocks along the way.

Launch of Apple Pay in Japan Boosts User Numbers for Mobile Suica, but Most Transactions Still Use Cards

Jun 9 2018

NFC TIMES Exclusive – HANOI, Vietnam: Since Apple Pay launched in Japan in the fall of 2016, the number of users for the Mobile Suica transit and retail payments application has grown by 50%, although the vast majority of transactions for Suica are still conducted with cards.

Apple to Enable Campus ID Cards in Wallet but Doesn’t Announce Opening of NFC Chip

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Apple will enable colleges and universities to add NFC-based student ID cards to its Wallet with OS upgrades to its Apple Watch and iPhone, the tech giant announced Monday on the opening day of its Worldwide Developers Conference.

Barclays Embeds Contactless Chips in Bands for Brand-Name Watchmakers, Hoping to Boost Payments Wearables

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight ­– The first contactless payments wearables resulting from UK-based Barclays partnerships with seven mostly analog watchmakers are beginning to roll out, with more planned–all using the bank’s bPay contactless chips and payments service.

Google Makes Progress Signing up Merchants in India for Tez Payments Service, but Penetration Still Low

NFC TIMES Exclusive – Google has signed up 640,000 small merchants in India to use its mobile payments service, Tez, a Google spokesman told NFC Times.

Vancouver’s TransLink Launches Open-Loop Ticketing, Though Offers Daily Riders Few Incentives to Tap Bank Cards to Pay

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Vancouver is the latest major city to enable riders to tap to pay fares with contactless bank cards, including card credentials loaded into such NFC-enabled mobile payments services as Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay.  

Walmart Quietly Ends Trial of App that Would Have Enabled Customers to Avoid Checkout Lanes in Supercenters

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Walmart Inc. has ended a trial of its Mobile Express Scan & Go app in its Walmart stores in the U.S., which had enabled shoppers to scan their items themselves and pay with a stored credit or debit card, then leave the store, after having a greeter scan a bar code in their apps to briefly check the receipt.

Another Large Chinese City Supports QR Code-Based Transit Ticketing

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Another major Chinese city is accepting QR code-based payments for transit fare collection, with riders of the Shenzhen Metro now able to use WeChat Pay to cover the fares.

Deutsche Bank Plans to Expand New Payments Service for Airlines to Other Industries, Though No Rollouts Yet Scheduled

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Germany’s largest bank, which announced plans Monday to pilot a new payments system for airlines that would enable travelers to buy tickets without pulling out their credit or debit cards, is also planning to expand the scheme to other industries, a bank spokesman told NFC Times.

Apple Touts Strong Growth of Apple Pay Globally, though Again Fails to Release Actual Transaction Figures

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Apple said the number of Apple Pay users doubled globally while transactions tripled during the last quarter, but the company did not release many details explaining reasons for the increases and again released no actual figures on Apple Pay usage.

Contactless Payments Continues to Grow for Transport for London, Helped by Fare Capping

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Transport for London this week was again trumpeting its move to open-loop fare collection with contactless credit and debit cards and applications on NFC phones–noting that contactless payments now accounts for half of all pay-as-you-go metro and rail rides in and around the UK’s capital.