Gemalto has signed a three-year contract to supply contactless cards to Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC).
The agreement covers a variety of card schemes such as Mastercard, Visa, JCB, China UnionPay and American Express.
The cards will be dual-interface, enabling contactless as well as chip payments at point-of-sale (POS) or contactless-enabled payment terminals.
ICBC cards will feature Gemalto’s smart chip technology to ensure security of user details. It will also encrypt communication with the POS terminals and processing networks.
Gemalto senior vice-president of banking and payment for APAC Michael Au said: “As the digital security leader, Gemalto has been partnering with ICBC for almost 20 years. Our solutions, which are at the heart of modern life from payment to enterprise security, are helping to support ICBC’s global business expansion strategy and accelerate China’s cashless revolution.
“Dual interface payment cards will allow consumers to pay faster, without compromising security. Since these cards can help improve operational efficiency and security, we also hope this effort will encourage local merchants to adopt EMV chip and contactless-enabled POS.”
Statistics from the China Banking Association revealed that more than seven billion bank cards were in circulation in the country by the end of 2017.
The growing POS upgrade in the country is expected to boost its contactless payments market. To date, more than 31 million POS terminals have been installed, majority of which support contactless payments.