Payments partners confirmed for GSMA's NFC Experience

CaixaBank, Gemalto, Telefónica and Visa Europe deliver contactless mobile payments experience at MWC 2013

18 February 2013: As part of the new NFC Experience at the GSMA Mobile World Congress, four partners have come together to deliver a mobile contactless payment experience.

CaixaBank, Gemalto, Telefónica and Visa Europe will deliver a payments application which will be offered to 3,500 delegates at Mobile World Congress, taking place February 25th-28th in Barcelona. The app, developed by Telefónica Digital, will allow delegates to make mobile contactless payments using a pre-paid card especially developed for mobile payments, which has been enabled to work with Visa’s contactless payment technology. The card is issued by MoneyToPay, the new subsidiary for the prepaid business created by CaixaBank.

Delegates will experience the service on an Xperia™ smartphone provided by Sony Mobile Communications, and using wallet technology developed by Telefónica Digital.

The app will come pre-loaded with €15, allowing delegates to make payments at contactless payment terminals across the Fira Gran Via. In addition, the app will allow payments in all “contactless” POS rolled out by CaixaBank around Barcelona, including more than 16,000 POS in stores, commercial centres and city markets, as well as 1,000 taxis.

“The GSMA is excited to launch the NFC Experience for Mobile World Congress 2013, as it provides attendees with the opportunity to experience first-hand the potential that NFC technology holds both throughout the Mobile World Congress venue and in Barcelona,” said Michael O’Hara, Chief Marketing Officer, GSMA. “We hope that all attendees will take the opportunity to experience the many benefits of NFC, from venue access to retail transactions to transport and much more.”

Sandra Alzetta, Senior Vice President at Visa Europe, said: “Contactless transaction numbers quadrupled across Europe in 2012 and will quadruple again this year. In the UK there are almost four million contactless transactions every month. There is a natural evolution from contactless cards to mobile devices and we’ve seen a fantastic response from the markets where this kind of service is commercially available.”

Miguel Ángel Pozuelo, head of new product and service development from CaixaBank said: “Innovation strategy is crucial for CaixaBank and the development of new payment products aimed at giving answers to all kinds of needs coming from its 13 million clients. Indeed, CaixaBank has promoted the creation of Money to Pay, Spain's first electronic money operator exclusively for the prepaid card sector, in order to boost new payment methods linked to technological development, such as NFC mobile devices and online wallets.”

“Bustling with activity and people jumping from meetings to demonstrations, MWC is the perfect environment for experiencing the speed and convenience of contactless services ”, said Jean-Claude Deturche, Senior Vice President Mobile Financial Services at Gemalto. “Gemalto is at the heart of 50 mobile NFC projects, with many of the world’s leading Mobile Operators, Banks, Retailers, Transport Operators and Service Providers. Global adoption is on its way with payment being one of the pillar services in the NFC ecosystem.”

Fernando Abella, Head of Telefónica Digital Spain, said: “Wallet technology from Telefónica Digital will enable our customers to perform payments with their mobile phone easily and securely. Telefónica is committed to delivering mobile payment capabilities to its customers all around Europe, including launching commercial NFC services in key markets such as Spain.”

The market potential for NFC is significant - nearly 1.5 billion SIM-based handsets will have been sold worldwide between 2010 and 2016, supporting transactions of more than $50 billion globally over the same period*, and momentum is growing. The deployment of NFC-ready point of sales terminals is also set to expand dramatically, growing from 3.9 million in 2011 to 43.4 million in 2017, by which time 53 per cent of all point of sale terminals worldwide will be NFC-ready**.

*Source: Strategy Analytics
**Source: Berg Insight

Further information: about the NFC Experience at Mobile World Congress 2013

As part of the new NFC Experience at Mobile World Congress, the GSMA will showcase an integrated range of mobile NFC services. Attendees with NFC-enabled handsets will be able to take advantage of NFC technology at locations throughout the Fira Gran Via and in the city. NFC touch points will be abundant throughout Congress, rewarding those who ‘tap’ with instant access to information such as downloads on the conference sessions and keynotes, as well as information on restaurants and tourist attractions around Barcelona itself. The NFC Experience features:

  • NFC Centre – A dedicated zone in the heart of Congress Square will be one of the key locations to visit and see NFC-enabled handsets and their capabilities as well as gaining information on the NFC ecosystem, NFC smart posters, NFC partner pods and a dedicated NFC support function;
  • NFC Interactive Zones - More than a dozen NFC Interactive Zones will be located along the walkways, entrances and exhibition halls of Fira Gran Via. Comprising a series of linked smart posters, attendees can use their NFC-enabled handsets to access exhibitor directories, venue information, nearby conveniences and many other useful services offered during Mobile World Congress;
  • Barcelona City NFC Locations - Strategic NFC touch points will be available at the airport, key hotels, selected restaurants and central tourist locations and attendees can take a taxi and pay for goods in select shops with NFC; and
  • Virtual NFC Badge – During registration, attendees with NFC-enabled handsets (Android 4 and above or Windows Phone 8 operating system) can opt into the NFC Experience and get full show entry with it and their physical badge, but without the need to repeatedly present a physical photo ID to gain access to the venue.

Further information: about Sony Xperia smartphones

As well as support for the digital wallet, Sony’s Xperia smartphones also include One-touch functions with NFC technology that enable consumers to share music, photos and videos from their smartphone to an array of NFC-enabled Sony devices, including speakers, headphones and TVs.

About Visa Europe

Visa Europe is a payments technology business owned and operated by member banks and other payment service providers from 36 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. 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 466m 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 September 2012, over €1 trillion (€1.02bn) was spent on Visa debit cards. Annual online spending on Visa cards in Europe topped €200 billion (€202bn) 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.

For more information, please visit www.visaeurope.com.