Wells Fargo begins contactless card rollout

Source: Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) announced today a newly enhanced, simplified checkout experience with the launch of contactless consumer credit and debit cards.

The new cards will allow customers to complete a transaction quickly with a single tap at millions of merchants, including transit systems, around the world that accept contactless payments – an additional option to inserting or swiping their cards, or leveraging a digital wallet to authorize a payment. Later this year, customers will also be able to tap to initiate an ATM transaction at Wells Fargo’s more than 13,000 ATMs across the nation.

“At Wells Fargo, our goal is to make the payments experience as seamless as possible for our customers, which is why we are so pleased to launch contactless credit cards for simple tap-to-pay checkouts,” said Beverly Anderson, head of Wells Fargo Cards and Retail Services. “According to Visa, contactless payments will soon be ubiquitous, with 78 out of the top 100 U.S. merchants (by transactions) currently offering the ability to tap-to-pay at checkout. For years consumers around the globe have been demonstrating great affinity for tap-to-pay cards and Wells Fargo consumer credit and debit card customers in the U.S. can now enjoy the same secure, expedited checkout experience.”

This week, new Wells Fargo consumer credit cardholders began receiving cards with the contactless feature when opening an account, and existing Wells Fargo consumer credit cardholders will receive a new contactless card when their current credit card expires. Consumer debit cards with the contactless feature will start to become available this summer. The bank, which is the industry’s #1 debit card issuer by purchase and transaction volume1, will start issuing newly redesigned consumer debit cards with the contactless feature to new cardholders and those who are in need of a replacement card.

“The new contactless feature adds speed and convenience to the checkout experience. We believe customers will adopt this as an alternative to cash that is both simple and secure,” said Ed Kadletz, head of Wells Fargo Deposit Products Group. “We are excited to offer our customers – who use their Wells Fargo Debit Card more than 8.8 billion times per year – a new payment option that they can use at a growing number of merchants, as well as Wells Fargo ATMs.”

In addition to purchases or payments, this fall Wells Fargo customers will be able to “tap” their Wells Fargo Debit Cards with the contactless feature to initiate a transaction at Wells Fargo’s ATMs that display the contactless symbol, including most of the company’s more than 13,000 ATMs. The ability to use a contactless debit card to “tap” and initiate an ATM transaction uses the same near-field communication (NFC) functionality Wells Fargo introduced in October 2017, which also allows Wells Fargo customers to use a digital wallet to initiate an ATM transaction. Today, more than 10,000 ATMs (75 percent of the network) have digital wallet access, and the remaining will be enabled by the end of this year.

Several major transit systems are among the many merchants accepting contactless payments. Today’s announcement comes ahead of the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority’s launch later this year of their planned 18-month rollout to support contactless payments at turnstiles and on buses across the city. Portland’s Tri-Met transit authority currently supports contactless payments throughout the Portland area for buses and trains. Chicago CTA also accepts contactless payments for its bus and train fares. Approximately 95 percent of all new POS terminals purchased by merchants in the U.S. are contactless-capable, and tapping to pay with a contactless card or payment-enabled device is one of the fastest ways to pay.

“Visa has seen customers around the world quickly embrace the speed, convenience and security of tapping to pay with contactless cards. We are excited to work with Wells Fargo to deliver this improved checkout experience to Wells Fargo customers,” said Dan Sanford, vice president, consumer products, Visa. “With even more merchants across the U.S. accepting contactless payments, Wells Fargo customers now have a fast, easy and secure way to make everyday purchases.”

Wells Fargo’s contactless card feature is built on secure EMV® Chip technology – the same dynamic security as contact EMV cards. Offering convenient payment capabilities like contactless cards is part of Wells Fargo’s commitment to leverage the latest technologies to deliver to customers what they tell us they want: simple, easy and fast ways to bank. 

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