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'Tap and Go'

Filipe Naigulevu
Saturday, November 04, 2017

SHOPPING, making payments and purchasing goods in Fiji can now be as simple as a microchip card tap on an electronic funds transfer at point of sale (EFTPOS) machine.

Westpac Fiji, one the country's major commercial banks, has paved the way by introducing EMV chip technology into our financial system.

The bank yesterday launched their "Tap and Go" system, which offers users contactless payments enabling them to accept tap and pay at point of sale.

This slowly replaced the traditional swipe system that Fiji currently has.

While the bank has made this available first for its international customers, mainly tourists visiting Fiji, it has plans to embed and roll out EMV chipped cards to its local Visa debit customers in the coming months.

The EMV chip technology, named after its original developers Europay, MasterCard and Visa, is becoming the global standard for credit card and debit card payments.

This technology features payment instruments where cards, mobile phones and other sundry items such as rings are embedded microprocessor chips that store and protect cardholder data.

"We are delighted to launch the EMV pay wave technology on our Westpac terminals. The terminals will go live as of today and we will be rolling them out across the country," Westpac Fiji general manger Brett Hooker said.

"At this stage, international customers who have EMV and payPass or payWave enabled on their cards will be able to tap and go straightaway.

"And that will be a good thing obviously for the tourism sector with a lot of tourists coming with that technology."

The new payment feature also allows a customer to pay for everyday goods and services up the value of $50 by simply tapping or waving their credit or debit card on a Westpac EFTPOS terminal.

This will also mean that customers will no longer have to swipe their cards and sign receipts or fumble around for cash.

But for payments over $50, customers will have to tap their cards and enter their PIN to confirm payment.

"As of today (yesterday), overseas issued Visa and MasterCard credit and debit cards, which have the payWave or payPass features will be able to use 'tap and go'," Mr Hooker said.

Mr Hooker added that they had worked with their partners, Visa, MasterCard, Euronet Worldwide and Verifone to bring the EMV technology to Fiji.

"Transactions are just as secure as magnetic stripe transactions and are processed through the reliable payment network," he said.

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