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Visa to roll out “wave and pay” cards in UK

Tash Shifrin

Visa has announced that it will launch contactless “wave and pay” cards for small transactions across the UK.

The cards will allow holders to pay for every day low value items, such as snacks or newspapers by waving a secure, contactless card over a reader in participating shops. The “wave and pay” transactions will significantly cut transaction time forretailers and consumers, Visa said.

 The company said the contactless payment cards had been made possible by the introduction of chip and Pin technology across Europe, which has brought added security to traditional card transactions.

When the card is waved over a reader, payment instructions are securely exchanged between the contactless chip card and the acceptance terminal using wireless communication technology. The new cards will allow payments to be processed in half a second.

Visa and its member banks are now seeking the support of retailers for the scheme. The company aims to introduce the contactless payment cards in London and extend them across the country by the end of next year.

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