A German banking committee has approved an Ingenico SA payment terminal as the first to accept contactless payments in the country under a new contactless pay system called giorgo.

Ingenico has conducted tests of contactless payments for its iPP350 terminal in several retail outlets in Hanover, Germany since mid-2012, the French terminal manufacturer announced last week.

The German Banking Industry Committee developed the giorgo system as a way to allow consumers to tap or wave contactless-enabled prepaid payment cards to initiate transactions of up to 20 euros ($26 U.S.) at contactless terminals. The committee gave its go-ahead for Ingenico to place the terminals throughout Germany.

The Ingenico terminal features a card reader for chip, magnetic stripe and contactless cards. The terminal’s Near Field Communication reader is located near its color display and is able to process all contactless payment methods, and provide two-way communication.

Acceptance of payments through NFC-enabled mobile wallets through smartphones is “in the pipeline” for the German terminals, Ingenico adds.

Ingenico says it is working to achieve giorgo approval for its other product lines, such as its countertop and wireless terminals.

The iPP350 terminal approved in Germany is designed for use in retail settings with multiple checkout lanes, Ingenico says. Because it is a compact terminal, Ingenico says it is also beneficial in the taxicab industry.

Consumers making contactless payments in the German giorgo system operate much in the same manner as other contactless systems in which the consumer does not need to insert a card, enter a PIN or sign for the purchase.

Consumers using the giorgo system must load funds in advance on the cards, much in the same manner as a prepaid card program, Ingenico says. Cardholders are allowed to load a maximum of 200 euros ($266 U.S.), Ingenico adds.

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