Published on February 21, 2008
The card can be used at Burger King, McDonald's, Sizzler, The Pizza Company, 94 Coffee, Au Bon Pain, Starbucks and Umm! ... Milk. Customers can also use the card at supermarkets, including Gourmet Market in both The Emporium and Siam Paragon and Home Fresh Mart.
Shoke na Ranong, manager of BBL's Credit Card Division, said for entertainment, the card could be used at EGV Cinemas, The Esplanade Cineplex, Major Bowl Hit, Major Complex, Paragon Cineplex and Nai In Bookshops.
BBL is the first bank in Thailand to launch the contactless Blue Wave credit card. To make a purchase, the cardholder just waves the card over a reader and waits for acceptance. The card is bundled with the same features as normal credit cards that require a cardholder's signature when paying for goods and services.
Shoke said during the first phase, only merchants in Bangkok could accept Blue Wave cards. The second phase of expanding upcountry begins next month.
Cardholders can complete their transaction using the new system within four to six minutes.
Credit-card issuers in Thailand have been developing card technology for several years now, from magnetic strips to embedded chips. Migration from magnetic-strip cards to chip cards is aimed at preventing fraud.
Applicants for a Blue Wave card must meet the same criteria as for normal credit cards. For example, to be eligible to receive the new card, an applicant must earn a minimum of Bt15,000 a month.
"Since a contactless credit card does not require a signature, cardholders must ensure that they keep it safe," Shoke said, adding that the bank planned to issue 80,000 Blue Wave cards this year.
The country's largest bank currently has a credit-card customer base of about 800,000. This year, BBL plans to increase this by 250,000.
Customers applying for a Blue Wave card from now until May 15 will have the application and annual fees waived. Normally, the application fee is Bt200 and the annual charge Bt600.