ICICI has become the first bank in the country to launch contactless debit and credit card using Near Field Communication (NFC) technology.
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The bank, which launched the cards in Gurgaon, Hyderabad and Mumbai to begin with, claims that these cards are faster and safer for transactions as the card remains with the customer during the transaction process and there is no need for swiping or dipping the card. The card needs to be waved at a distance of 4cms from the EDC machines.
1200 EDC machines capable of accepting contactless payments have also been set-up across merchants in these cities. The merchants include quick service restaurants, coffee shops, shopping marts and fuel stations where fast transactions are much required. The Bank plans to shortly extend this facility to other cities as well.
The Bank’s ‘Coral Contactless Credit Card’ and ‘Expressions Wave Debit Card’ are powered by ‘MasterCard contactless’ and ‘Visa payWave’ technologies, respectively. Both the contactless credit and debit cards can be used as regular cards at all MasterCard/Visa enabled merchant terminals, even those which are not enabled for contactless transactions.
The bank also provides an option to customize the ICICI Bank Expressions Paywave NFC Card with a design that users can select from a gallery of more than 160 images or the user can also upload their favorite picture online.
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While SBI also has plans to launch contactless cards, mobile payment company iKaaz has partnered with Adigas restaurant chain for NFC enabled payments.
Also read: NFC in India : Coming of Age?

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