MBNA has announced it will begin issuing the UK’s first American Express-branded contactless credit cards. According to MBNA, the deal makes them the world’s first issuer of EMV-enabled contactless credit cards for all three major payment networks – American Express, MasterCard and Visa.
The move is part of a phased initiative by MBNA to upgrade all of its UK customers to EMV contactless. Existing MBNA customers with American Express cards will automatically be sent replacement contactless cards upon reissue, or if their card has been lost or stolen. The company expects millions of contactless cards to be in the hands of its UK customers by the end of 2012.
MBNA says they are also offering improved security. The new cards cannot be used until a PIN is entered on first use, and payments are limited to up to GBP15 per transaction. Customers will occasionally be asked to enter their PIN for security purposes. MBNA is also offering full protection to customers who are innocent victims of fraud or theft.