First Citizens Announces Visa payWave Card Rollout -First Issuer in South Carolina to Offer Contactless Payment Cards

September 13, 2007

COLUMBIA, S.C. – September 12, 2007 – Tired of fumbling for cash? Want a way to pay that’s more convenient than swiping and signing? First Citizens customers in South Carolina can now complete everyday purchases more quickly and easily at many local retailers by simply “waving” their Visa payWave card near a secure contactless reader at checkout. First Citizens is the first bank in South Carolina to offer this credit card feature to qualified customers, and is among only 12 other Visa issuers nationwide to offer cards with the Visa payWave feature.

“At First Citizens, we are committed to providing unrivaled service to our customers,” said Jim Apple, Chairman and CEO of First Citizens.  “By issuing payment cards embedded with Visa payWave technology, we can now offer customers a faster payment experience, enhanced convenience, and the level of security they’ve come to expect from First Citizens.”

In addition to making electronic payments faster, Visa payWave transactions do not require a signature for most purchases under $25.  Cardholders enjoy all the same security protections the industry has come to expect from Visa, including zero liability for fraudulent charges and Visa’s industry-leading anti-fraud technology. 

Visa payWave provides additional layers of security because the card never leaves the customer’s hand, can only be read at extremely close proximity to a contactless reader, and uses data that is unique to each contactless transaction.

The payWave technology uses radio-frequency, or RF, to send payment information rapidly and securely over an extremely short distance to the terminal.  All cards with Visa payWave also have the traditional magnetic stripe, and are accepted at more than 20 million locations worldwide. 

“Visa cardholders consistently say they prefer faster, more efficient access to their payment accounts,” said Brian Triplett, senior vice president, emerging product development, Visa USA.  “Thanks to our partnerships with issuers like First Citizens, we are able to give consumers the experience they demand.”
Consumers can apply at any one of First Citizens’ 166 branch locations. 

About Visa payWave
 Since its introduction in 2005, Visa’s contactless technology has grown rapidly in popularity. To date, more than 9 million cards with the Visa payWave feature have been issued in the United States alone. The technology is already in use at convenience stores, sporting venues, gas stations and fast food restaurants nationwide.  

About First Citizens
First Citizens Bancorporation, Inc., is the parent company of First Citizens Bank and Trust Company, Inc., and The Exchange Bank of South Carolina, Inc. First Citizens Bank offers services in commercial and retail banking through its 166 offices in South Carolina and Georgia. As of June 30, 2007, First Citizens Bancorporation had total consolidated assets of $6.08 billion. For more information, visit the First Citizens web site at

About Visa USA
Visa USA is a leading payments brand and the nation’s largest payments system, enabling banks to provide their consumer and business customers with a wide variety of payment alternatives tailored to meet their evolving needs. Visa USA is committed to increasing the choice, convenience, acceptance and security of Visa payments for all stakeholders – financial institutions, cardholders and merchants.  As of March 31, 2007, in the United States, more than 521 million Visa-branded cards have been issued by more than 13,000 financial institution customers. Visa products generated $1.8 trillion in total volume in the United States during the four quarters ended March 31, 2007.  Visa enjoys unsurpassed acceptance around the globe.  For more information, visit


For more information, press only:
Ashley Sherry, First Citizens (803) 931.1332 or [email protected]
Elvira Swanson, Visa USA, (650) 432.8352 or [email protected]