Axis Bank announced the launch of its Contactless Secure+ Debit Card for regular savings account customers, to provide access to a larger customer base with contactless technology. The card, launched on the Visa payWave platform, will enable Axis Bank’s customers to conveniently ‘Just Wave to Pay’ at NFC-enabled point of sale (POS) terminals, and also use the card as a normal debit card at any POS terminal. Focus of the bank has been on driving both the issuance of contactless cards to increase the number of customers, and also driving the penetration of contactless acceptance devices, reported Business Wire India. At present, approximately 40 per cent of the NFC-enabled point of sale (POS) have been deployed by Axis Bank.
Sangram Singh, the Senior VP & Head of Cards & Payments Business of Axis Bank put his words behind the aim of introducing the new product, saying, “We are happy to present our new Secure+ Contactless card proposition which will enable our customers to transact faster, while continuing to provide a high level of security. Our focus has been to utilize the latest technology and innovations, like NFC, to enhance value for existing propositions and drive deeper engagement with our customers.”
The other prominent member present was TR Ramachandran, the Group Country Manager for India and South Asia for Visa, the techno-business perspective, “Visa payWave technology is gaining momentum with increasing adoption among merchants and an easier, faster and secure option for consumers to pay. As the payments ecosystem develops, Visa will continue to deliver innovative solutions across segments and categories to drive usage in familiar environments. Congratulations to Axis Bank on the launch of the contactless secure+ debit card, which will add to an increasing number of contactless cards in India and globally.”
The way ITB works is, Axis Bank’s Contactless Secure+ cards have an embedded microchip and an antenna (based on radio frequency) which enables ‘contactless’ communication with a reader at the checkout. It enables cardholders to make faster payments in a convenient and secure manner. Once the merchant enters the purchase amount on the contactless PoS terminal, the customer simply has to wave the card on the terminal and the payment is processed wirelessly, in a secure procedure. Post the transaction, the customer will receive alerts through SMS and email. Axis Bank Contactless Secure+ Debit card holders will also have the advantage of not requiring their signature on transaction receipts, or entering the card PIN for transactions upto INR 2,000. Customers will also have an option of using their card as a normal chip card for conducting transactions, regardless of the value.
The bank had introduced the same technology to its Debit & Credit card platforms, namely the Burgundy (Premium Banking) and Axis Bank Miles & More co-branded card last year. The new contactless Secure+ debit card comes with similar features of the traditional Secure+ debit card with add-ons; it offers emergency assistance and covers hotel and flight expenses in case of loss of travel tickets and wallet. It also has a Total Control platform, allowing customers to modify usage limits, choose between domestic or international usage, switch the card on or off, or even replace the card.
RBI, in 2015, announced relaxation of the two factor authentication norm for NFC based payments below INR 2000. The country has witnessed over 60 per cent of transactions on Credit and Debit cards below the threshold of INR 2,000, and this is likely to increase significantly over next few years. Some of the leading supermarkets and quick service restaurants such as Big Bazaar, Costa Coffee, Dominos, etc., have already deployed NFC-enabled POS terminals to reduce the overall transaction time.