SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 4, 2008--Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) and U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB) today announced a pilot program designed to test consumer preferences for an alternative electronic payment device, the Visa Micro Tag, the smallest Visa payWave-enabled device currently available. The U.S. Bank Visa Micro Tag easily attaches to a key ring and allows Micro Tag holders to simply wave and pay.
U.S. Bank plans to distribute more than 4,000 prepaid Visa Micro Tags to employees in November 2008 to collect feedback on design, functionality and ease-of-use of the devices. Employees across the country will receive the U.S. Bank Visa Micro Tag which is tied to a prepaid U.S. Bank Visa gift account. The U.S. Bank Visa Micro Tag can be used to make purchases anywhere Visa payWave is accepted.
The Visa Micro Tag was first introduced in 2007 and can be used with credit, debit or prepaid accounts. Micro Tags are enabled by Visa payWave technology, based on a tiny chip embedded in the device that enables consumers to pay by simply waving the U.S. Bank Visa Micro Tag in front of a contactless payment terminal without the need to physically swipe or insert the device. Designed to be small and durable, the U.S. Bank Visa Micro Tag makes paying for purchases faster and more convenient.
"Consumers today want access to their financial accounts quickly and securely," said Pat Coll, executive vice president of U.S. Bank Retail Payment Solutions. "New payment devices, such as the Visa Micro Tag, allow consumers to conveniently use electronic forms of payment for small ticket purchases, such as concessions at a sporting event, a soda at a vending machine, or a cup of coffee, while also providing an added layer of security."
U.S. Bank Visa Micro Tags display the Visa and U.S. Bank brands and the contactless indicator. A Visa account number is not required to be embossed or printed on the device. This provides an additional layer of security for consumers who choose to carry their U.S. Bank Visa Micro Tag in visible ways, such as on a keychain.
Visa Micro Tags can be manufactured and personalized easily in a process similar to that of standard cards. This helps issuers control costs while more readily providing an exciting new payment choice to consumers. The Visa Micro Tag also can be manufactured in a variety of shapes and sizes from flat to three-dimensional delivering innovative payment product design options. The U.S. Bank Visa Micro Tags were manufactured by Giesecke & Devrient (G&D) using the MicroPass(R) chip from INSIDE Contactless. The Visa Micro Tag is not available in Europe.
"One of the advantages of Visa payWave technology is that it offers consumers payment choices that deliver the same security, speed and convenience they have come to expect from Visa," said Tim Attinger, Head of Global Product Innovation at Visa Inc. "We're excited about the opportunity to partner with U.S. Bank to test the Visa Micro Tag and bring consumers payment options that fit their lifestyles."
About Visa payWave
Since its introduction in 2005, Visa's contactless technology has grown rapidly in popularity. Customers with Visa payWave cards in the U.S. enjoy the convenience of not having to sign for payments under $25, a feature that also benefits merchant locations where speed is important and where cash has been the traditional means of payment. The technology is already in use at thousands of convenience stores, sporting venues, gas stations and fast food restaurants around the world.
Visa has high security standards and risk management processes in place to protect Visa transactions, and Visa payWave-enabled payments are no exception. Visa is currently migrating to a new specification for Visa payWave transactions, based on the global standard for chip card technology that ensures all Visa payWave enabled cards and devices can be used around the world.
Visa's new contactless specification is based on EMV technology, enabling transactions in both offline and online processing mode. In addition, the global specification is compatible with existing Visa payWave programs launched worldwide, and provides enhanced security of contactless transactions, while providing functionality and flexibility for issuers in diverse geographic areas. The specification also includes requirements for the speed of communication between card and terminal.
Cardholders with Visa payWave-enabled products receive all the same security protections the industry has come to expect from Visa, including (1)zero liability for fraudulent charges and Visa's multiple layers of security technology. Cardholders making purchases with Visa payWave-enabled products enjoy additional layers of security because the payment device never leaves the customer's hand, can only be read at extremely close proximity to a reader, and generates a dynamic cryptogram that uniquely identifies each Visa payWave transaction with the global Visa payment network. Visa Micro Tag
(1) Visa's Zero Liability policy covers U.S.-issued cards only and does not apply to ATM transactions, PIN transactions not processed by Visa, or certain commercial card transactions. Cardholder must notify issuer promptly of any unauthorized use. Consult issuer for additional details or visit www.visa.com/security.
About Visa Inc.
Visa Inc. operates the world's largest retail electronic payments network providing processing services and payment product platforms. This includes consumer credit, debit, prepaid and commercial payments, which are offered under the Visa, Visa Electron, Interlink and PLUS brands. Visa enjoys unsurpassed acceptance around the world, and Visa/PLUS is one of the world's largest global ATM networks, offering cash access in local currency in more than 170 countries. For more information, visit www.corporate.visa.com.
About U.S. Bank
U.S. Bancorp, with $247 billion in assets, is the parent company of U.S. Bank, the 6th largest commercial bank in the United States as of June 30, 2008. The company operates 2,556 banking offices and 4,903 ATMs, and provides a comprehensive line of banking, brokerage, insurance, investment, mortgage, trust and payment services products to consumers, businesses and institutions. Visit U.S. Bancorp on the web at www.usbank.com.
CONTACT: Visa Inc.
Elvira Swanson, 415-932-2564
Jennifer Wendt, 612-303-0731
SOURCE: Visa Inc. and U.S. Bancorp