Recently, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA), Spain’s second-largest bank announced that it is the first global banking group to commercially launch mobile NFC payments based on new cloud-based payment specification from Visa. On Aug. 29, 2014, the bank announced that their BBVA Wallet Application that enables payments via smartphone, has now acquired 250,000 users.
“BBVA Wallet continues to attract new users at a blistering pace and has already been downloaded 250,000 times. It took just eight months to reach this figure since the app was launched back in December,” stated BBVA, in a press release. “Estimates indicate half a million BBVA customers may download this application by the end of the year.”
- This development makes BBVA Wallet one of the most widely used mobile payment apps, provided by a Spanish bank.
- BBVA utilizes HCE technology (Host Card Emulation) with Visa specifications.
- This enables users with Android phones and NFC technology to begin making contactless purchases with their mobile devices instantly.
- All they are required to do is download the app.
- The bank stated that BBVA Wallet has been rolled out to the employees and users that are most active in making mobile payments.
- The BBVA Wallet update is already working in Spain and is to be made available to BBVA users in Mexico, Chile and the U.S this year.
“Our goal is to make BBVA Wallet a global product and make it available in every country in which we operate”, added the Bank.
- The BBVA Wallet operates in an integrated way on any latest-generation Android phone equipped with NFC technology.
- The international expansion of BBVA Wallet has been possible through Visa’s Cloud Based Payments specification, according to the bank.
- This incorporates the use of Host Card Emulation technology.
- Cloud-based payments allow in-store payment transactions utilizing secure data held within the banks ‘cloud-based’ systems, rather than relying on a hardware-based Secure Element.
- Hence, the payment apps can run independently of the operator providing the telephony service.
- This results in a qualitative improvement of the user’s experience, as there will be no need to replace the SIM card, states the bank.
- HCE technology is being incorporated into the main mobile operating systems and already works with the latest versions of Google’s Android 4.4 system.
- BBVA Wallet enables users to receive instant notifications of each transaction or being able to finance purchases when making the payment.
On 19th June 2014, banking startup – Simple –announced an update that ensure quicker and easier money transfer for its users in the US. The company was recently acquired by BBVA, a 150-year old financial services corporation, for an amount of around $117 Mn.