NFC Mobile Payments Launch in the Czech Republic

Prague, 23 August 2012 - Today, Visa Europe, Komerční banka, Telefónica and Samsung are launching breakthrough technology in payments. The 2,000 fastest owners of a Samsung Galaxy SIII, can as of today simply swap their existing SIM card with a special payment SIM card. These SIM cards are available for free at 19 specialized O2 Guru stores across the Czech Republic, with a pre-charged credit of 250CZK from Komercni banka; enabling users to pay for goods and services with their mobile phones.

This launch builds upon the success of the pilot project carried out last year, which proved that the market was ready for this payments innovation. The limited number of 2,000 special payment SIM cards will be available to customers for free on their Samsung Galaxy SIII phones from August 23rd. Thanks to the partnership with Komercní banka, the card will be charged with 250 CZK credit so that the consumers can experience the payment technology immediately. This KB Mobile Card (Mobil Karta) can be linked to an existing KB bank account or customers can set up a new account with Komercní banka. The mobile payment application, loaded onto a Samsung Galaxy SIII NFC SIM card, is provided by Visa Europe and will be downloaded to customer’s devices for free by the O2 Guru so they can start paying with their mobile.

“Together with our partners, it is our goal to introduce the technology of mobile contactless payments as an alternative to cash payments. The mobile payments offer a high level of convenience, speed and security. For merchants, they bring the new system of client service. Today, we are presenting the way people will pay in the future. We believe that by 2020 about a half of all transactions will be done via mobile devices,” says Miloslav Kozler, the regional manager of Visa Europe for contactless and mobile projects in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

“Komerční banka has been continuously supporting innovations in payment methods. In co-operation with our partners, we are excited to be the first bank in the Czech Republic to offer our clients this revolutionary way of payment,” says Petr Polák, the Payment Manager at Komercní banka.

“The support of NFC technology in Samsung GALAXY SIII is another step towards our goal to bring a convenient and efficient cashless mobile payment solution. Today's customers, specifically Galaxy SIII users, like to use advanced technologies and features anytime and anywhere. A fast and secure contactless payment will expand the possibilities of use of their phones. And it is possible to use the new NFC technology, that corresponds both to the needs of our clients and to our corporate philosophy," says Roman Šebek, Sales and Marketing Director, Samsung Electronics Czech and Slovak.

“We are proud to be the first mobile operator to introduce the NFC payments to the Czech market. Our work, however, is not finished by launching a limited series of NFC SIM cards. This limited edition is the last step before the mass market launch of this service next year,” says Richard Walitza, NFC and Financial Service Manager at Telefónica Czech Republic, a.s.

The NFC technology in mobile phones brings not only more convenience, but also a more intuitive approach to payments. NFC Payments are simple and also more secure since the users have their devices under constant control and can set up a security level to suit their preferences. For commercial operation, assistants in O2 Guru stores were specially trained for the commercial launch of NFC payments and are ready to advise, provide tips and help customers with installation of the application.

Starting today, special NFC SIM cards are available at the following O2 stores:

  • Praha 4, BBC
  • Karlovy Vary, Tř. TGM
  • Hradec Králové, 28.října
  • Praha 5, OC Smichov
  • Ostrava, Novinářská, Futurum
  • Olomouc, Riegrova
  • Zlín, Kvitková
  • Liberec, České mládeže, HypN
  • Praha 4, OC Chodov
  • Plzeň, Solní
  • Ústí nad Labem, Revoluční 5
  • Praha 5, Zličín
  • Praha 1, nám. Republky 1
  • Praha 9, Veselská, OC Letňany
  • České Bud, OC IGY
  • Jihlava, City Park
  • Brno, Vaňkovka
  • Pardubice OC Globus

For more information

Komercní banka:
Monika Klucová, Director External Communication, phone.: 955 532 132, monika_klucova@kb.cz

Samsung:
Veronika Šoufková, Ogilvy Public Relations, s.r.o., tel. 221 998 308, veronika.soufkova@ogilvy.com

Visa Europe:
Lucie Janoušková, Grayling Czech Republic, phone 224 251 555, lucie.janouskova@grayling.com

Telefónica Czech Republic:
Hany Farghali, spokesperson, phone: 606 02 02 02, hany.farghali@o2.com hany.farghali@o2.com

About Visa Europe

In Europe, there are 445 million Visa debit, credit and commercial cards. In the 12 months ending September 2011 those cards were used to make purchases and cash withdrawals to the value of €1.7 trillion. 14% of consumer spending at point of sale in Europe is with a Visa card, and almost 80% of that is on Visa debit cards.

Visa Europe is owned and operated by more than 3,700 European members and was incorporated in July 2004. Visa Europe is independent of global Visa Inc., with an exclusive, irrevocable and perpetual licence in Europe, while both companies operate to ensure global interoperability. 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.

Visa enjoys unsurpassed acceptance around the world. In addition, Visa/PLUS is one of the world’s largest global ATM networks, offering cash access in local currency in over 200 countries.

For more information, visit http://www.visaeurope.com/