Nine Polish banks are planning to launch Visa’s cloud-based mobile contactless payment services in early 2016. The nine banks taking the initiative include ING Bank Śląski, mBank, Bank Millennium, Raiffeisen Polbank, eurobank, Getin Bank, Bank Polskiej Spółdzielczości, Bank SMART and Bank Zachodni WBK. The planned cloud-based payment services would enable customers, having apps utilizing HCE (host card emulation) functionality, to make contactless payments using their NFC enabled Android smartphones.
This high profile initiative illustrates Poland’s existing reputation as a hub for innovation in digital payment services. By embracing Visa’s mobile contactless payment services, the financial institutions wish to offer their banking customers the ease of using a smartphone to make contactless payments. This would further pave the way for more innovation in the way customers use their mobile phones to manage their finances and spending.
Poland has been a pioneer in embracing contactless payments technology. Poland is currently Visa’s largest market in Europe in terms of contactless transaction volumes. Around 70% of Visa cards in the Polish market have contactless functionality and the contactless technology accounts for 40% of all Visa payments in the market. More than 75% of all in-store point-of-sale (POS) terminals in Poland support contactless payments. Almost all of the Polish POS terminals are expected to support the technology by the end of 2017.
Visa has currently enabled more than 2.1 million contactless terminals across Europe. The cloud based mobile payments are gaining rapid momentum across Europe. Services are already live for major banks like Bankinter in Spain and BBVA. Future launches are already planned in France, Italy, Slovakia and other markets. Visa’s ongoing strategy is to work with telecom operators, handset manufacturers and operating systems as well to enable banks to use a range of platforms to bring futuristic mobile payments capabilities for customers.
Jeremy Nicholds, Executive Director for mobile at Visa Europe, said in an official press release: “The high number of banks working to deploy Visa mobile payments highlights the sector’s immense interest in the service. Visa’s Cloud-based Mobile Payments can quickly be made available to a large group of consumers and provide a foundation for the bank to offer a wide range of innovative functionalities in the future. Visa’s mobile contactless payment technologies have become an integral part of our Polish members’ mobile banking strategies.”