BBVA is the first global banking group to commercially launch mobile NFC payments based on new cloud-based payment specifications from Visa. The new cloud-based system will allow BBVA customers with NFC-enabled Android handsets to make contactless purchases by simply downloading an updated version of the BBVA Wallet app, available immediately.
BBVA Wallet, which already has more than 200,000 users, operates in an integrated way on any latest-generation Android phone equipped with NFC technology.
“Our employees and some of our customers, who are the most active users of BBVA Wallet in Spain, are already using this latest technology that gives BBVA the opportunity to offer our millions of customers worldwide an incredibly simple and intuitive way to start using their phone for contactless payments,” explained Mehmet Sezgin, BBVA Global Payment Systems director.
The BBVA Wallet update is already operating in Spain, and will be extended to BBVA customers in the U.S., Mexico and Chile this year. “Our goal is for BBVA Wallet to become a product that is carried by and used by our customers across all the geographical areas in which we operate,” Mr. Sezgin said.
The international expansion of BBVA Wallet has been possible through Visa’s Cloud Based Payments specification, part of which incorporates the use of Host Card Emulation (HCE) technology. Cloud-based payments enable in-store payment transactions using secure data held within the banks ‘cloud-based’ systems, as opposed to relying on a hardware-based Secure Element.
This means that the payment apps can run independently of the operator providing the telephony service, resulting in a qualitative improvement of the customer’s experience, as there will be no need to replace the SIM card.
“The banking industry has recognized the demand for mobile payments from customers across Europe,” said Jeremy Nicholds, Executive Director for Mobile, Visa Europe. “Mobile offers a faster way to make secure payments and also has the potential to integrate with other forms of mobile banking functionality, supporting better money management. Cloud-based payments and HCE functionality is helping improve the time to market for banks looking to offer mobile contactless to their customers, while broadening the accessibility for consumers.”
“We are delighted that BBVA, as a leading global financial institution, chose to take this step with Visa as their partner of choice,” Mr. Nicholds added.
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 is the first bank in the world to implement this technology in a commercial solution, consolidating BBVA status as a pioneer in mobile payment systems.
For all customers
BBVA Wallet, currently available in Spain, offers a solution for all customers who use smartphones as it provides two modes of operation:
-Users of NFC-enabled phones with the Android 4.4 operating system or later can simply download the updated app when they are informed of its availability.
-Those who do not use an NFC device may continue to request a contactless sticker that attaches to their phones and solves the technological gap, enabling customers to fully enjoy the mobile payment experience.
But beyond giving customers the ability to make payments using their phones, BBVA Wallet has many other features that are a major leap forward in user card management.
In addition to receiving instant notifications of each transaction or being able to finance purchases when making the payment, consumers using BBVA Wallet will find a wide array of discounts and offerings they can apply to the purchases they make at affiliated stores, making its use even more attractive.
BBVA Wallet was recognized at the Contactless & Mobile Awards 2014 (CMA 2014) as the Best Mobile Payment Solution.
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