WaMu, the sixth largest card issuer in the US, has announced that it will begin testing contactless payment cards, across both credit and debit card platforms, in partnership with the Visa payWave and MasterCard PayPass contactless programs.
Contactless payments enable consumers to simply tap or wave their payment card near a specially equipped merchant terminal. Payment information is transmitted wirelessly, providing quick, simple and secure transactions that eliminate the need to swipe the card through a reader, or hand it to a merchant.
With contactless card transactions, the payment is authorized in seconds, and no signature is required for most purchases under $25.
The Visa payWave and MasterCard PayPass contactless cards also have a magnetic stripe and function as traditional credit and debit cards in merchant locations that are not equipped for contactless transactions.
WaMu said that its decision to trial the contactless platform is part of its continuing focus to improve the customer experience.
Contactless payments are increasingly being accepted across the US, and have been adopted by major retailers such as 7-Eleven, McDonald’s, Walgreens and CVS pharmacies.