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Alliance Data Rolls Out MasterCard Chip Card

Alliance Data, through its card services business, is rolling out an EMV-based co-branded card with MasterCard, among others, according to a Sept. 8 release.

The company said in its statement that the MasterCard dual-face chip card, along with similar cards co-branded with BJ’s Wholesale Club and the Fuel Rewards program, will feature “tap-and-pay” functionality. The feature allows for payment via tapping the aforementioned cards on contactless-enabled terminals.

In describing the tap-and-pay process, Alliance Data said the cards have an identifier via a universal wave symbol (depicted through a series of semicircles) that is displayed on the cards’ fronts. Customers, when they see that same symbol displayed on a payment terminal, need only to hold that card close to — or on — the symbol until the terminal indicates that both the card and payment have been accepted.

If the terminal does not have the tap-and-pay ability, then consumers can opt instead to swipe or insert their cards depending on the situation.

In a statement accompanying the release, Art Roca, senior director of payment services for Alliance Data’s card services business, said that "with the rise of mobile wallets, the industry will continue to shift to faster and easier methods of payment. The rollout of an EMV tap-and-pay card enables us to keep the customer experience consistent across our mobile and chip card solutions, and with the predominance of plastic cards, contactless will reach more customers earlier in the adoption cycle.”

The executive went on to state that "EMV cards offer big protection in a tiny chip. When we add the contactless technology that allows customers to tap, pay and take away, shoppers can count on convenient, simple and fast ways to buy."

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