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MBNA Brings Millions Of Contactless Credit Cards To the UK

CHESTER, UK -- Today MBNA began its two-year programme to adopt contactless credit cards. MBNA, which is Europe's largest credit card lender, will help millions of UK customers make the switch.

MBNA has committed to helping the UK's adopt contactless technology, and as part of this commitment, the credit card lender will issue the new, simple payment cards for all new and replacement MBNA credit cards.

Contactless technology is a secure alternative to small cash payments of £15 or less. Instead of entering a PIN Number, users will need to touch the new contactless card to the reader on the payment terminal. This technology works at any store that displays the contactless sign. The new technology is also fully compatible with existing Mastercard and Visa systems.

By January 2012, more than five million contactless technology1 MBNA-issued credit cards will be in the British market. This is over and above the estimated ten million contactless enabled credit and debit cards already in use and the 25 million expected to be in use by 20122.

Some users have hesitated and expressed concern over the credit card security issues surrounding the new contactless payment technology. However, MBNA was quick to reassure consumers and businesses educating them about the many security layers included in the cards.

Contactless payment methods are designed specifically for small payments, and as such, will not work for transactions of £15 or more. Payments do not require a PIN, but they will require a PIN Number for the first transaction. Customers will also have to enter a PIN Number with random transactions to prove authenticity and card ownership. If MBNA customers do become victims of fraud or theft, their credit cards purchases are protected.

"The issuing of new and replacement contactless credit cards will be in place for two years and enhance our support for the UK-wide changeover. It also shows we make our commitments a reality -- MBNA is committed to providing choice, simplicity, and value with all of our products and services. Our move to contactless payments is just another great example of this," explained Ian O'Doherty. O'Doherty is the Bank of America Europe Card executive, the company that runs MBNA.

With a survey of over 1,000 credit card users3, MBNA discovered consumers are overwhelmingly supportive of the idea of contactless technology and the added convenience. Many consumers feel the technology will save time, be easier to use, and generally make their lives easier:

• 63.5% feel the changeover to contactless technology is beneficial for customers

• 78% see the technology as being beneficial for businesses

• 80% believe contactless payment systems will cut time off in queues while paying for purchases.

• 69% expect contactless credit cards will make life easier

With the MBNA's new two-year initiative, all new or replacement cards will have contactless technology and will not require any effort from consumers.

1Contactless technology is restricted to transactions of no more than £15 and will not require a PIN Number with each transaction. To make a payment, users simply need to touch the card to the face of the payment terminal reader.

More businesses are adopting contactless technology as time progresses. Large brands like Subway, Prêt a Manger, Caffé Nero, and many others already have contactless payment terminals installed, and it doesn't end there. Many other large retailers are testing contactless payments or in the process of installing the terminal, including Spar, Boots, Little Chef, Co-op, and National Trust gift shops.

2 includes industry statistics and contactless credit card information for consumers and businesses.

3MBNA's research was performed online between 04/10/2010 and 08/10/2010 by Opinion Matters and included answers from 1,000 respondents who are currently credit card users. All research for MBNA satisfies the MRS Codes of Conduct (2010) in the UK and ICC/ESOMAR World Research Guidelines.

Published: 08/12/2010

The information in this article was correct at the time of publication and contains time sensitive data and links, it may not be accurate at the time of reading.