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The contactless card market in the U.K. continues to heat up. MBNA, a European subsidiary of Bank of America, said it will issue 5 million contactless cards by the end of 2011. That puts it in the same group of Barclaycard, the long time leader with the majority of market shares in the U.K. contactless card market. And Visa Europe recently said it expects the number of PayWave cards and devices in the U.K. to grow by 50% from 8 million at mid-2010. Visa estimates that there are currently about 26,000 merchants in U.K. accepting contactless payments.
Additionally, MBNA says the cards will feature several new layers of security. For example contactless cards cannot be used until a PIN is entered on first use, payments are limited to up to £15 per transaction, and customers will occasionally be asked to enter their PIN number to ensure the transactions are valid.