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December 20, 2006

Bank of America testing contactless payment fobs

Oberthur Card Systems has been selected to provide contactless payment fobs as part of Bank of America's trial to test radio frequency contactless payment companion devices.

By CBR Staff Writer

As more and more contactless cards are being issued globally, Bank of America is testing consumer interest in companion devices for contactless payment. In what would represent a first in the US market, the bank plans to issue Oberthur’s VersaFOBs with MasterCard PayPass.

VersaFOB is a contactless payment sub-card that snaps out of a full-size payment card and is inserted in a keychain casing. The Bank of America user acceptance trial program will distribute Oberthur’s VersaFOBs with MasterCard PayPass as companion devices to its traditional credit cards.

Under the terms of the deal between the two companies, Oberthur will supply the cards and fob casings, while Bank of America will handle personalization and fulfillment in-house.

Research indicates that the issuance of alternative form factors, such as fobs, will further the adoption of contactless payments, said Philippe Tartavull, president of Oberthur Card Systems of America. Following the initial contactless pilots back in 2003, it became clear that the industry should not limit itself to the traditional card form factors.

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