Malaysian card issuer MBF Cards has begun issuing its first contactless payments smart card, Visa Wave.
MBF Cards will roll out 2000 Visa Wave cards to consumers in a trial of the payments technology that is scheduled to runs until the end of August 2004. If the trial is successful, Visa says it will introduce the Wave card to other markets in Asia Pacific.
To make payments, customers simply wave the Visa Wave card at a reader. The antenna inside the card then sends an RF signal, transferring information to a reader connected to the merchant's point-of-sale terminal. The transaction is then processed through Visa's payment network, as with all other conventional transactions.
The Wave card also complys with EMV standards and features both contact and contactless interfaces, so it can also be used as a regular payments card and to withdraw cash at ATMs.
Gordon Cooper, head of products, emerging products and technology, Visa Asia Pacific, says: "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 says research among consumers between the ages of 20 and 35 in Malaysia to test the appeal of contactless cards found they were interested in using the technology for low-value purchases.