The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) has begun issuing customers with the country's first dual interface Visa cards for contact-based and contactless payments.
The cards - issued in partnership with local retailer Parkson and supplied by German vendor Giesecke & Devrient (G&D) - include Visa's payWave contactless technology.
Users can make low value payments by swiping their cards across specially equipped contactless POS terminals.
Parkson customers can also use the cards to collect loyalty points, with the retailer expanding its programme to enable people to pay and collect points in supermarkets, fast-food restaurants, cinemas, parking lots and petrol stations.
ICBC - which plans to issue tens of thousands of the Peony Parkson credit cards this year - says they represent an important step towards wide-scale migration to international standards for chip-based payment methods in China.
China was stung into action on EMV standards back in 2005 after a massive data breach at CardSystems Solutions in the US that potentially exposed 40 million cardholders to fraud. In an effort to improve security, authorities green-lighted a large-scale EMV chip card pilot programme in Pudong, Shanghai.
In 2006 ICBC implemented a smart card issuing and management platform from Minneapolis-based vendor Datacard as it began its migration to EMV standards.
Visa itself only began migrating its payWave contactless payments platform to a global specification based on EMV standard earlier this month. The firm says Visa Contactless 2.0, will ensure customers can use their contactless cards worldwide, while still providing issuers with the flexibility to customise programmes to meet local market needs.