Inside Contactless is developing chips for a dual contact/contactless card that Canada's Interac Association plans to use to capture more of the cash consumers spend on small-ticket purchases, Allen Wright, Interac vice president of products, tells ATM&Debit News.

Though the cards will have a magnetic stripe, one chip will enable cardholders to tap the cards at payment terminals that accept contactless payments. Cardholders also will be able to conduct payments by inserting their cards into payment terminals and typing in their four-digit PINs to activate the contact chip, Wright says.

"The dual interface card will allow cardholders to tap their cards to buy a cup of coffee in order to keep the line moving," says Charles Walton, Inside Contactless executive vice president of payments. For purchases that take longer, such as buying a plasma television, cardholders can use the card's PIN-protected contact chip, he says.

The cards will comply with the EMV antifraud standard. Interac wants to capture more of the small-ticket market, or purchases that range between C$1 and C$25, Wright says, noting Canadian consumers spend C$98 billion in cash annually on small-ticket purchases. Inside Contactless, which is based in Aix-en-Provence, France, is manufacturing the chips based on Interac's specifications, and card manufacturers will install them into the cards, Wright says.

 Interac plans to test the card early next year. The test will involve 100,000 to 200,000 cards and several thousand merchants, Wright says.

Interac has not determined where it will hold the test, he adds.
 Interac is Canada's only debit card network, but Visa Canada and MasterCard Canada have announced plans to enter the country's PIN-debit market. Interac signed a contract with Inside Contactless partly because of the moves by the two international brands, Wright says. ATM

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