Scotiabank Group and Royal Bank of Canada are to become the first Canadian banks to issue the Interac Association's new contactless cards that satisfy EMV Integrated Circuit Card Specifications.

The banks plan to issue debit cards that support the Interac Flash contactless function next summer, Interac announced Nov. 16.

This year, the association did a brief contactless-payment pilot test using Scotiabank debit cards and TD Merchant Services' point of sale terminals. Sixty Interac, Scotiabank and TD Merchant Services employees participated, as did several downtown Toronto merchants.

Issuers are eventually to decide individually the sale-amount threshold for requiring cardholders to use their personal identification numbers to complete a transaction. The amount may range between $25 and $100, according to Interac spokeswoman Caroline Hubberstey.

Scotiabank and Royal Bank officials were unavailable to comment.

Interac has added a fraud-protection feature that will prompt cardholders to enter a PIN as a way to detect unauthorized use if multiple transactions are made with their cards before the sale-amount limit is reached, Hubberstey said. "We just want to make sure it's you still using the card."

Interac, which operates Canada's sole PIN-debit network, supports more than 20 million debit cards, Hubberstey said.

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