Scotiabank and the Royal Bank of Canada will be the first Canadian banks to issue the Interac Association’s new contactless EMV chip-and-PIN cards, Interac announced Nov. 16.

The banks plan to issue debit cards that support the Interac Flash contactless function next summer.

Earlier this year, Interac conducted a brief contactless-payment pilot using Scotiabank debit cards and TD Merchant Services’ point-of-sale terminals. Some 60 Interac, Scotiabank and TD Merchant Services employees participated, as did several downtown Toronto merchants (see story).

Interac added a contactless feature to help capture more small-ticket purchases, the association told PaymentsSource in June.

Issuers will decide individually the sale-amount limit before requiring cardholders to use their PIN to complete a transaction. The amount may range between $25 and $100, according to Interac spokesperson Caroline Hubberstey.

Scotiabank and Royal Bank officials were unavailable for comment.

Interac has added a fraud-protection feature that will prompt a cardholder to enter a PIN if multiple transactions are conducted with their card before the sale-amount limit is reached as a way to detect unauthorized use, Hubberstey says. “We just want to make sure it’s you still using the card,” Hubberstey says.

Interac continues to work on getting more banks to issue Flash as the market moves to convert more cash transactions to debit, Hubberstey says. “Contactless helps us move more toward that and eventually move into the mobile environment when the time comes,” she adds.

Interac, which operates Canada’s sole PIN-debit network, supports more than 20 million debit cards, Hubberstey says.

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