Payments

Wells Fargo introduces tap to pay cards, joins big bank move to contactless

  • The US has been slow in adopting new payments technology.
  • This announcement by Wells may encourage more people to use contactless.
Wells Fargo introduces tap to pay cards, joins big bank move to contactless

Wells Fargo launched 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 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.

What’s the big deal: Contactless cards have been de rigueur in many markets around the world for years. 90 percent of face-to-face credit card transactions in Australia, for example, are contactless. The US was slow in adopting chip and pin technology, which required merchants to use new hardware. Once that was in place, going contactless requires new types of cards to be issued.

US lags behind in adoption of new payment technologies

Wells Fargo is the number one debit card issuer by purchase and transaction volume, according to The Nilson Report. JPMorgan Chase said last year that it would move is entire card portfolio to contactless.

“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.”

Where this is headed: Wells Fargo’s move to contactless should encourage more consumers to start using this technology. Many merchants experience a rise in transactions when they make contactless available. This technology may also replace cash transactions, too.

“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.”

Transit is a great use case: Contactless is a technology that is made for people on the go. Using it to move through public transportation has been a major use case in European and Asian cities.

Several major US transit systems already accept contactless payments. Later this year, the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority’s has a planned 18-month rollout to support contactless payments at turnstiles and on buses across the city. The MTA will join Portland’s Tri-Met transit authority and Chicago’s CTA in accepting contactless payments.

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