Upgrade has rolled out its new card in digital form through both Apple Pay and Google Pay, to support mobile payments


Upgrade introduces contactless-enbled Upgrade Card. (Credit: Pixabay/Free-Photos)

Upgrade, a US-based neobank offering low-cost credit through cards and loans, has launched its first contactless-enabled Upgrade Card.

The bank is offering Upgrade Card in contactless and mobile payment versions without charging any fees, and its new offering is available in digital form through both Apple Pay and Google Pay, to support mobile payments.

Upgrade co-founder and CEO Renaud Laplanche said: “These new Upgrade Card features enable payments without any surface contact.

“While more customers have been shopping online since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many are still using their card in stores. We want to do what we can to keep our customers safe and give them a smarter way to pay.”

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation, consumers limit the use of banknotes and, when possible, use contactless cards or smartphone payments to reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission.

Unlike traditional cards, Upgrade card combines monthly charges into installment plans

The bank said that since its launch in October 2019, Upgrade Card has been widely adopted in the US with an annual rate of $500m in new credit lines already being made available to consumers.

Unlike traditional credit cards, its Upgrade card combines monthly charges into installment plans, which can be paid over 24 to 60 months period, enabling people to pay down the balance every month.

The installment plans are said to reduce costs for consumers and help customers avoid falling in the trap of revolving debt, generally posed by traditional credit cards.

The Upgrade Card, which can be used anywhere a Visa card is accepted, comes with a credit line of $500 to $20,000, and would reduce the costs compared to traditional credit cards, with its unique installment plans.

Since inception in 2017, the Upgrade platform is claimed to have originated more than $2.5bn in loans and cards.