Programs to Test Visa Credit and MasterCard Debit Payment
SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 23, 2007--WaMu (NYSE:WM)
today announced it will begin testing contactless payment cards that
provide increased convenience and speed for cardholders during the
merchant checkout process. The contactless test will be conducted
across both credit and debit card platforms in partnership with Visa
payWave(R) and MasterCard PayPass(R) contactless programs.
The contactless payments enable consumers to simply tap or wave
their payment card near a specially equipped merchant terminal.
Payment information is transmitted wirelessly providing quick, simple
and secure transactions by eliminate the need to swipe the card
through a reader, or to hand the card to a merchant.
The computer chip enables end-to-end transaction security. Nothing
else about the transaction changes; the purchase is authorized,
processed and billed the same way it is today. The Visa payWave(R) and
MasterCard PayPass(R) contactless cards also have a magnetic stripe
and function as traditional credit and debit cards in merchant
locations that are not equipped for contactless transactions.
With contactless cards, customers eliminate the need to search for
cash or hand their card to the cashier for purchases. They remain in
control of their card during the transaction, reducing the risk of
fraud. The feature is an easy-to-use alternative to cash for making
everyday purchases where speed and convenience are important. Payment
is authorized in seconds, and no signature is required for most
purchases under $25.00.
WaMu's decision to test the contactless platform is part of its
continuing focus to improve the customer experience.
WaMu, one of the leading consumer and small business banks, is the
nation's sixth largest bank card issuer with more than $23.5 billion
in managed receivables as of December 31, 2006. WaMu serves almost 11
million credit card customer accounts. The company has a history
dating back to 1889 and its subsidiary banks currently operate more
than 2,600 consumers and small business banking stores throughout the
nation. WaMu's press releases are available at
Visa USA is a leading payment brand and the nation's largest
payment system, enabling banks to provide their consumers and business
customers with a wide variety of payment alternatives tailored to meet
their evolving needs. Visa USA is committed to increasing the choice,
convenience, acceptance and security of Visa payments for all
stakeholders in the payment system -- members, cardholders and
merchants. Through its 13,382 member financial institutions, more than
510 million Visa-branded cards have been issued to cardholders in the
Visa products currently generate more than $4 trillion in sales
volume worldwide. Visa enjoys unsurpassed acceptance around the world.
In addition, Visa/Plus is one of the world's largest global ATM
networks, offering cash access in local currency in over 170
countries. For more information, visit www.corporate.visa.com.
About MasterCard Worldwide
MasterCard Worldwide advances global commerce by providing a
critical economic link between financial institutions, businesses,
cardholders and merchants worldwide. As a franchisor, processor and
advisor, MasterCard develops and markets payment solutions, processes
close to 14 billion payments 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 Worldwide serves consumers and
businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. For more
information, go to www.mastercardworldwide.com.
CONTACT: Washington Mutual
Keith Givens, 415-278-4426
SOURCE: Washington Mutual