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Saturday, December 02, 2006

Visa Card Shopping

Super-fast shopping will hit Australia next year when Visa launches a card that could do away with cash. From mid-2007, customers using a new contactless credit or debit card will simply tap or wave it over a scanner to buy food, drinks or movie tickets. The process could could cut paying time to a matter of seconds and banish queues. Visa head of product and strategy in Australia and New Zealand Greg Storey said the value of purchases would be limited for security purposes.

"It will be suited to fast service purchases of small value such as food and beverage, retail, parking and transit," he said. Payment will come from the customer's bank account if a debit card is used, or will be added to their credit card bill. The system is already used successfully in many parts of the US and Asia. Storey said major Australian banks would provide the card once technology infrastructure had been upgraded nationally.

"We don't want it just working in a local area," he said. Storey said trials showed a pre-paid version, which debits money deposited on the card, would be more popular. He said the biggest concern would be assuring Australians of the card's security. "Australians are familiar with using the PIN system and like the safety and security," Storey said.

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