Union Bank of California to roll out PayPass debit cards

Source: Union Bank of California

In a continuing effort to be an industry leader in convenience and service, Union Bank of California, N.A., announced it will provide banking customers with MasterCard PayPass contactless payment technology on their debit cards.

PayPass offers simpler, speedier card transactions at merchants worldwide by enabling "Tap & Go" payments.

As one of the first California-based banks to offer PayPass, Union Bank's launch will further accelerate adoption of the technology, which MasterCard Worldwide says will reduce the amount of time consumers spend in lines. "This will allow our cardholders to get through the checkout faster, with more convenience," said Arno Hesse, Union Bank of California executive vice president and head of retail market segments.

According to a recent survey by MasterCard, U.S. consumers are using less cash these days. In fact, 76% of respondents believe that it is no longer necessary to have lots of cash on hand and two-thirds of respondents (66%) use cash less often than five years ago to make purchases.

"We are always looking for ways to offer cardholders features that add value and convenience," Hesse said. "With MasterCard PayPass, our customers will have a more convenient payment option that is simpler and quicker than cash. It is an extension of our commitment to serving them when, where and how they like to bank," he added.

"By introducing the benefits of speed and convenience to cardholders with MasterCard PayPass, Union Bank of California is helping to ensure that its debit card is the preferred card in the wallet of its customer," said Bill Mathis, group executive, US relationship management, MasterCard Worldwide. "Offering PayPass will differentiate Union Bank of California from its competition and drive its bottom line as more transactions, especially those that were traditionally made with cash, shift to its card portfolio."

To use the feature, Union Bank customers tap their PayPass-enabled debit cards on a PayPass reader located at the point of sale of participating merchants. For transactions under $25, most merchants don't require customers to sign a receipt. To signal a customer's purchase is complete, the reader will flash a light and produce a tone sound. The Union Bank of California Debit MasterCard PayPass card also has a traditional magnetic stripe and can be used anywhere Debit MasterCard cards are accepted.

Beginning March 17 in the Los Angeles market, 100,000 Union Bank Debit MasterCard cardholders will be issued replacement cards equipped with PayPass technology. The rollout will continue statewide until nearly one million Union Bank debit cardholders eventually receive them. The card will automatically be issued to all new debit customers.

MasterCard PayPass is ideal for traditional cash-heavy environments where speed is essential, and has led the way in bringing contactless technology to consumer categories such as quick serve restaurants, drug stores, gas stations, vending machines, convenience stores, sports arenas, movie theaters, transit systems and parking garages. PayPass is accepted globally at more than 95,000 merchant locations, including CVS, Regal Cinemas, McDonald's, 7-Eleven, Whole Foods, and Office Depot.

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