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WaMu Set to Become Largest U.S. Issuer of Debit MasterCard(R) with PayPass(TM)

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 1, 2008--Washington Mutual (NYSE: WM), one of the nation's leading consumer and small business banks, is offering its customers the convenience of going "contactless" in 2008 with the WaMu(R) Debit MasterCard(R) with PayPass(TM). MasterCard PayPass is a new contactless payment feature that provides cardholders with a simpler way to pay for small purchases -- tapping the card on a point-of-sale terminal reader at participating merchants rather than swiping or inserting it, just "Tap & Go(TM)!"

WaMu expects to issue 12-15 million Debit MasterCard with PayPass cards in 2008, making it the nation's largest issuer (as of Q42007 there are more than 23 million PayPass cards and devices in circulation globally). WaMu launched Debit MasterCard with PayPass nationwide in January, offering the card to new customers opening its signature WaMu Free Checking(TM) account, as well as to all WaMu Small Business customers. In March, the bank began issuing Debit MasterCard with PayPass to customers whose debit cards are renewing.

"Our ability to offer customers a fast, convenient and secure way to make their everyday purchases is completely consistent with WaMu's 'simpler banking' approach," said Nandita Bakhshi, division executive, Consumer Deposit Products. "Studies show that MasterCard PayPass cards have shorter transaction times than cash or signature transactions, and we believe the added ease and convenience is a benefit WaMu customers will appreciate."

Customers can make purchases by tapping their PayPass card over special terminals at select restaurants, gas stations, convenience stores, pharmacies, movie theaters, and other locations. Merchants that accept PayPass include AMC Theaters, BestBuy, CVS, 7Eleven, McDonald's, Office Depot, Petco, and Tully's. (To learn more about WaMu Debit MasterCard with PayPass, visit

"Our research shows that cardholders who use their MasterCard PayPass cards tend to make them their preferred cards, which will deliver an economic benefit to WaMu by driving its cards to the 'top of wallet,'" said Bill Mathis, group executive, US Relationship Management, MasterCard Worldwide. "WaMu's issuance of 12-15 million Debit MasterCard with PayPass cards will greatly accelerate the shift by consumers and merchants to contactless payments, creating shorter lines and loyal customers along the way."

How does MasterCard PayPass work?

WaMu Debit MasterCard with PayPass cards give customers the same features, functions, and security standards of regular Debit MasterCard cards. With the PayPass feature, however, there's no need for customers to fumble for cash and coins or swipe a card for purchases. Users simply tap their PayPass-enabled card or device on the PayPass reader, receive their payment confirmation, and go. And, PayPass customers don't have to sign receipts for purchases under $25, which further speeds the payment process.

MasterCard PayPass cards and devices are processed through the same financial payments networks that process millions of magnetic stripe and chip card transactions securely.

    PayPass Consumer Benefits

    There are many advantages to using MasterCard PayPass including:

    --  It's like having exact change. Customers don't have to worry
        about carrying around a lot of cash or fishing for coins.

    --  Customers are in control because their PayPass card never
        leaves their hand at checkout.

    --  PayPass is fast and ideal for environments where speed is
        essential, such as movie theaters, quick serve restaurants,
        convenience stores, gas stations and more. Merchants who
        accept PayPass for payment can be found at

    About WaMu

WaMu, through its subsidiaries, is one of the nation's leading consumer and small business banks. At December 31, 2007, WaMu and its subsidiaries had assets of $327.91 billion. The company has a history dating back to 1889 and its subsidiary banks currently operate approximately 2,500 consumer and small business banking stores throughout the nation. WaMu's press releases are available at

About MasterCard Worldwide

MasterCard Worldwide advances global commerce by providing a critical economic link among financial institutions, businesses, cardholders and merchants worldwide. As a franchisor, processor and advisor, MasterCard develops and markets payment solutions, processes over 18 billion transactions each year, and provides industry-leading analysis and consulting services to financial institution customers and merchants. Through its family of brands, including MasterCard(R), Maestro(R) and Cirrus(R), MasterCard serves consumers and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. For more information go to

    CONTACT: WaMu, Seattle
             Diana McSweeney, 206-500-3619
             MasterCard, Purchase, NY
             Brian Greehan, 914-249-5895

    SOURCE: Washington Mutual