HSBC has begun issuing debit cards that that feature MasterCard's PayPass contactless payment technology to customers in the US.
The bank expects to issue around one million cards through the end of 2005 and will be the first bank to completely reissue its all its US debit cards to include the PayPass technology.
To make a purchase customers tap their cards on a specially-equipped terminal that utilises a radio frequency chip to complete the transaction. Payment details are communicated to the terminal and then processed through the MasterCard network for clearing and settlement.
Kevin Newman, senior EVP for personal financial services, HSBC, says: "PayPass gives our customers an innovative, convenient and secure payment option, while providing them with the same zero-liability protections as traditional payment cards."
Cleveland-based KeyBank was the first bank in the US to introduce the PayPass contactless payments system to customers. The bank began replacing its existing cardholders' debit cards with PayPass-enabled cards earlier this month.
Citibank said last month that it would begin distributing MasterCard's PayPass-enabled key fob to debit and credit cardholders in the New York metropolitan area this autumn.