U.S. Bancorp is testing a service that allows it to issue contactless debit cards instantly.

"If this proves to be an absolutely viable technology, we will consider using instant issuance of payWave in all of our branches," said Lynn Heitman, a senior vice president at the Minneapolis company.

U.S. Bancorp operates 2,847 branches. It launched the pilot program Friday but has not set a closing date for the test, Heitman said.

The company is conducting the test at seven branches in Salt Lake City and Denver. It is working with Dynamic Card Solutions LLC, an Englewood, Colo., company that developed software for instant card issuance.

U.S. Bancorp will offer unembossed, but personalized, debit cards to new customers who open checking accounts. Bank employees can create the card in one minute, after which new customers can immediately use it to access to their accounts, Heitman said.

The banking company decided to issue contactless debit cards because of the growing number of merchant locations in the Denver and Salt Lake City areas that accept them and because the bank has a large number of branches in the two cities, Heitman said. The cards also have a magnetic stripe, so customers can use them at merchant locations that do not accept contactless cards, Heitman said.

U.S. Bancorp is a Visa Inc. issuer.

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