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SBI starts contactless debit & credit cards

State Bank of India on Thursday joined its private sector rivals to launch contactless credit and debit cards using latest near field technology (NFC). Called the SBIinTouch cards, these cards are more secure and hassle-free to use at merchant outlets or ATMs and use the NFC technology which enables users to make payments by waving or tapping the card near the contactless reader instead of swiping or dipping it.

Private lenders ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank have already launched such NFC cards. Launching the cards, SBI chairperson Arundhati <g data-gr-id="14">Bhattachrya</g> said the bank has already issued 1.08 lakh new cards to its customers in the eight largest metros and the remaining customers will get the cards in the following months. The bank has 2.5 lakh Point of Sale terminals, out of which 1 lakh in the top eight metros will be upgraded so that they are NFC enabled, she said, adding that this upgrade will cost the bank under Rs 2,500 for each machine. “The NFC technology makes the contactless cards very secure as the card never leaves your hand thereby reducing the risk of card loss and fraud,” she said. 

PIN not must for contactless card payment up to Rs 2K
Easing norms, the RBI on Thursday said customers can use <g data-gr-id="33">card</g> for contactless payments without PIN authentication for transactions up to Rs 2,000 across all merchant categories. RBI has been receiving requests for waiver of <g data-gr-id="32">requirement</g> of the additional factor of authentication (AFA) so as to foster innovative payment products/processes as also enhance the convenience factor in certain types of card transactions. After examining the trade-off between security and convenience in card transactions, RBI had sought public comments on relaxation in AFA in case of small value card present transactions using Near Field Communication (NFC) contactless technology. 
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