Indian private sector lender ICICI Bank has launched a contactless mobile payment solution to allow its credit and debit card holders make in-store contactless payments.

The solution, available in the bank’s Pockets app, will make use of the Host Card Emulation (HCE) technology to create virtual cards for the bank’s physical Visa/MasterCard credit or debit cards.

The virtual card will have a different card number, though its credit limit and expiry date will be same as the original physical card.

The bank said that the new solution will address security concerns more effectively as card details are stored virtually in the bank’s secure cloud server instead of a customer’s mobile device.

No card details will be shared during transaction, with payment processed through a one-time unique token number created by the bank’s server.

Customers can make electronic payments with the virtual cards from NFC enabled smartphones by waving their phone near a contactless merchant terminal. The solution will enable customers to make payments up to INR2,000 ($29.6) per transaction.

The service, which is presently available for the employees of the bank, is expected to be rolled out to customers by the end of this month.

ICICI Bank executive director Rajiv Sabharwal said: "We are delighted to introduce yet another first in the country a contactless mobile payment solution that that will allow cashless payments using just smartphones, thereby eliminating the need to carry cash or debit and credit cards.

"With India becoming the second largest market globally for mobile subscribers as well as smartphones, we expect this to be a big game changer in the Indian payment industry, as it will transform the smartphone into a virtual wallet. The key advantages of the solution are speed, simplicity and security."