MBNA today announced that the first American Express-branded, contactless credit cards in the UK will be issued for use by MBNA's customers.
Europe's largest credit card lender now becomes the world's first issuer of EMV-enabled contactless credit cards for all three payment networks - American Express, MasterCard and Visa.
The move is part of a phased initiative by MBNA to issue contactless-enabled cards for new and replacement credit cards for all of its UK customers. Millions of cards will be in the hands of MBNA's UK customers by the end of 2012.
Ian O'Doherty, Europe Card executive for Bank of America, which operates the MBNA brand in the UK, said: "We are delighted to offer a world first in providing EMV-enabled contactless credit cards across the three major payment networks. It is a sign of our global commitment to innovation and to delivering for our customers."
Debra Davies, American Express Global Network Services, said: "We are excited to launch the first American Express-branded, contactless credit cards in the UK with MBNA. We think this will be a win for MBNA's customers who will be able to enjoy the ease and convenience of contactless payments together with the customised benefits and services on their American Express-branded cards."
Customers with American Express-branded cards issued by MBNA do not need to do anything as their new or replacement cards will be automatically converted to EMV-enabled contactless credit cards when they are re-issued or replaced.
To use their new contactless cards, customers simply touch the card at payment terminals that display the contactless symbol and American Express logo without the need to enter their PIN.
MBNA has added layers of security to its customers' credit cards. For example, contactless cards cannot be used until a PIN is entered on first use. Payments are limited to up to GBP15 per transaction, and customers will occasionally be asked to enter their PIN for security purposes.
In addition, MBNA customers who are innocent victims of fraud or theft are fully protected on their credit cards.