Europe’s largest commercial mobile contactless payments service launched in Spain

Visa Europe, CaixaBank, Orange, Telefόnica and Vodafone partner to deliver mobile contactless payments in Spain

London, 18 December 2013: Visa Europe and leading Spanish bank CaixaBank along with mobile network operators Orange, Telefόnica and Vodafone, have announced the launch of Europe’s largest commercial mobile contactless payments service.

From February 2014 CaixaBank customers will be able to make contactless payments quickly and safely using their contactless-enabled smartphones. The partnership with Orange, Telefόnica and Vodafone enables the card details of customers who register for the CaixaBank mobile payments service to be encrypted and securely stored on a contactless-enabled SIM card. These customers will then be able to use the CaixaBank mobile banking application to easily manage their money and make contactless payments globally anywhere they see the Visa contactless symbol.

With Orange, Telefόnica and Vodafone’s combined customer base accounting for more than 80 per cent of the Spanish market, the service will be available to an extensive number of consumers from the outset.

Nicolas Huss, CEO, Visa Europe said: “This week’s game-changing launch is yet another example of how Visa has gathered together a range of market players to offer an exciting new service to Spanish consumers – one that we expect to see expanded further in Spain and to other European markets in due course.”

“Visa Europe’s approach to bringing innovative new payments services to market is built around developing an ecosystem of partners. We believe that this creates the most fertile ground for introducing new services to the mass market, capitalising on the trusted relationships that consumers have with their banks, mobile providers, favourite shops and Visa alike.”

Juan María Nin, CEO, CaixaBank said: “CaixaBank’s adoption of mobile contactless payments comes as part of an overall strategy to use innovation as a means of improving services for customers. With contactless technology now being supported by most new smartphones, this mobile payments service brings fresh benefits to users and merchants alike, including speed, simplicity and security. Under this agreement, CaixaBank, Spain’s leading bank and a global benchmark in payments systems, will also be a market leader in mobile contactless payments.”

CaixaBank customers will be able to make mobile contactless payments at any of the 325,000 Visa contactless-enabled terminals across Spain* or the 1.2 million Visa contactless-enabled terminals across Europe*. Spain is one of Europe’s leading markets for contactless technology with over 15 million Visa contactless payments made in the past 12 months*, and a strong history of payments innovation. 2010 saw CaixaBank launch Europe’s first real-world mobile payments pilot in the Spanish town of Sitges, and in subsequent years roll out contactless cards (2011), the CaixaWallet application (2012), and a sticker-based mobile payments service, TAP Visa (2013). CaixaBank has issued more than 3 million contactless cards in Spain to date.

The CaixaBank mobile payments service will launch in January 2014 with selected customers of Orange, Telefόnica and Vodafone who frequently make contactless card payments with their Visa cards today. The service is expected to be fully rolled out by February 2014.

About Visa Europe

Visa Europe is a payments technology business owned and operated by member banks and other payment service providers from 37 countries across Europe.

Visa Europe works at the forefront of technology to create the services and infrastructure which enable millions of European consumers, businesses and governments to make electronic payments. It is not a credit card company, almost 80% of its business is on debit cards, and its members are responsible for issuing cards, signing up retailers and deciding cardholder and retailer fees.

Visa Europe operates a high volume, low cost business model that provides services to its members. Its surplus is reinvested into the business and used to improve capital and reserves. In the last six years, Visa Europe has invested over €1 billion in new technology and infrastructure.

There are 470m Visa cards in Europe while €1 in every €6.75 spent in Europe is on a Visa card. Almost 80% of Visa Europe's business is on debit cards and, in the year to December 2012, over €1 trillion (1.05tr) was spent on Visa debit cards. Annual online spending on Visa cards in Europe topped €200 billion (€212bn) for the first time in this period and now accounts for more than 20% of Visa Europe’s processed business.

Since 2004, Visa Europe has been independent of Visa Inc. and incorporated in the UK, with an exclusive, irrevocable and perpetual licence in Europe. Both companies work in partnership to enable global Visa payments. As a dedicated European payment system Visa Europe is able to respond quickly to the specific market needs of European banks and their customers - cardholders and retailers - and to meet the European Commission’s objective to create a true internal market for payments.

About CaixaBank

CaixaBank is the Spanish banking sector’s largest institution, with 13.7 million customers, a branch network of 5,920 offices and business volume of 514,644 million euros. Its financial operations date back more than 100 years. The entity, part of the CaixaBank Group, places strong emphasis on growth, both domestic and international, supported by proven experience in banking sector investments and its characteristic prudence.

The Group, overseen by Chairman Isidro Fainé and CEO Juan María Nin and headquartered in Barcelona (Spain), has consolidated its leading position in retail banking thanks to its strong commercial operations, risk-appropriate management, foresight and consistent innovation. CaixaBank supports its customers with interests and trade relations outside of Spain, through strategic alliances with international banking partners, operational branches, representation offices and correspondent banks.

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