Coming soon to PH: 'Tap-and-go' credit cards

by Cathy Rose A. Garcia,

Posted at Jan 27 2013 10:35 AM | Updated as of Jan 28 2013 11:32 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Credit card users in the Philippines may no longer have to swipe and sign when paying for purchases. Soon, Visa will be introducing the "payWave" technology which would allow credit card users to simply tap their card on an electronic terminal when paying for anything.

Iain Jamieson, Visa country manager for the Philippines and Guam, said the payWave "tap-and-go" technology will be introduced in the country by the second half of the year. He declined to give details on the partner banks and shops that will use the payWave technology.

"We're introducing payWave, with tap-and-go technology... I can just tap my card on the reader and for purchases below P2,000 I don't sign or get a receipt for it," he said.

Visa payWave is a secure, contactless technology, backed by a "zero liability policy." The card will have an embedded computer chip that has an antenna that securely sends the payment instructions to and from the reader.

"Philippine banks will be migrating to this in the next 12 to 24 months," he said.

Paywave will initially be available only for credit cards, and not for debit and prepaid cards.

However, Jamieson noted merchants may need to upgrade their internet connections.

"The whole premise of payWave is speed, it's very fast. Here some terminals still use dial-up," he said.

The Philippines is one of the few Asia-Pacific countries that doesn't have payWave yet.

Jamieson said the tap-and-go technology has been used in other Asia-Pacific countries for several years now, such as Australia, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and Singapore.

Another technology that Visa will be introducing in the country is mPOS or mobile point of sale. The mPOS can turn any smartphone into a point-of-sale device via a card swipe, allowing a merchant to accept Visa credit/debit cards in any location.

Jamieson said Visa hopes to have mPOS out within the first quarter of the year.