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US Bank trying out flat, payWave debit cards

U.S. Bank is pairing a couple of new credit-card technologies in an experiment to streamline its card-issuing process.

The company says it’s the first U.S. card issuer to incorporate Visa’s payWave technology in an unembossed debit card. Unembossed cards don’t have those bumpy letters and numbers on them, and so they can be produced on-site instead of making customers wait for them to arrive in the mail. Visa’s payWave is the technology that lets card holders pay for purchases by simply waving them in front of an electronic card reader, in theory speeding up the payment process.

The unembossed payWave cards are currently being issued as part of a pilot program in Denver and Salt Lake City. The cards are accepted at most Visa merchants, except those that rely on those old manual, carbon-copy imprint swipers.

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