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Contactless debit cards in Switzerland

Switzerland’s SIX Payment Services has begun distributing the country’s first contactless debit cards through a partnership with local bank Hypothekarbank Lenzburg, based in Aargau. The project, which began in December, replaces the bank’s entire portfolio of 22,000 debit cards with dual interface V PAY cards that enable contactless and regular transactions. On the V PAY system, all transactions are solely chip-based – a feature that increases security.
Proponents

also claim that the system is more efficient for merchants at check-out because it saves customers’ time. V PAY cards have been issued in Switzerland by UBS and Raiffeisen since early 2014, but these were credit and pre-paid cards, not debit cards. SIX will be supporting the bank with consulting services for the specification of the chips as well as the central project co-ordination with Visa as card scheme and the personalisation bureau, and full issuer processing services.

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