The bumpy road to full EMV migration, including the long transactions times or perceived long transactions times at the point of sale have led many (myself included) to believe that this perfect storm of events would cause financial institutions to look at issuing EMV dual cards. These are cards that can handle both contact and contactless transactions. Cardholders can wave their card in front of an NFC enabled terminal similar to using a mobile payment capability like apple Pay. Except the user doesn’t have to open up their phone first or check and see if they have remaining battery power.
But contactless hasn’t happened in the U.S. Primarily the reason for shunning the technology is the additional planning and considerations that need to take place to issue both a contact and contactless card and yes, the additional cost. Most issuers are hard pressed to justify additional costs in the current environment of lower interchange for all financial institutions (regulated banks in particular) and the rather spotty acceptance of NFC in the merchant community.
TCF is the exception. Last week they announced their rollout of a new dual chip providing their debit cardholders with contact and contactless capabilities:
TCF National Bank (TCF Bank), a subsidiary of TCF Financial Corporation, today announced the availability of its new chip-enabled TCF Debit Card with contactless payment capability. The enhanced debit card enables consumers to make purchases more quickly and securely at payment terminals, while still providing the same convenient access to cash and purchases. TCF also is among the first banks in the country to offer the ability to instantly issue a full-functioning chip-enabled debit card at TCF Bank branches, meaning customers can receive a new or replacement TCF Debit Card on the spot
The improved TCF Debit Card addresses several important needs that our customers have told us they want, including the security of chip-enabled technology, the convenience of contactless pay and the ability to get a new or replacement card in one of our branches,” said Michael S. Jones, TCF’s executive vice president, consumer banking. “Being in rhythm with our customers’ everyday lives means making it as easy as possible to make a purchase, replace a card and have the peace of mind that their information is secure.
Overview by Sarah Grotta, Director, Debit Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group
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