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La Caixa to distribute 200,000 contactless stickers

03 December 2012  |  8788 views  |  3 Spanish Flag 1

Spanish bank la Caixa is to roll out a new contactless payment system in Barcelona, based on TAP Visa stickers for mobile devices. The bank forecasts that 200,000 customers will be using the system by February, when the Mobile World Congress 2013 will be held.

The system is based on a TAP sticker that attaches to the back of mobile devices and is designed to provide secure data transfers. Inside the sticker is an EMV chip containing all the data required to complete payments as if the customer were using their card. The data transfer is fully encrypted and comes with complete security guarantees.

Customers will be able to make payments using their mobile device in the same way as they would using their contactless card and with the same transaction limits. If the transaction is over 20 euro the customer will be asked to enter their pin code into the terminal.

La Caixa has developed a free application to accompany the system launch, which will be available from the bank's applications store, CaixaMóvil Store, as well as other download sites, in versions for iOs, Android and Blackberry. The TAP application allows users to view transaction histories and account balances.

The bank will issues the first stickers to 5000 customers in December. In January sticker distribution will gradually be extended, reaching 200,000 users by February.

La Caixa currently has more than 1.12 million contactless cards in circulation which can be used for low-value payments at more than 50,000 retailers across Spain. It has worked with the Barcelona City Council, the Metropolitan Taxi Institute and Mercats de Barcelona to roll out the contactless system to taxis and municipal markets and has installed a network of 730 contactless ATMs that can be operated without requiring users to enter their cards.

The bank says more than one million contactless transactions have been completed since the nationwide launch in January 2012.

Comments: (3)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 04 December, 2012, 03:28

This appears to be a similar initiative to the Barclaycard PayTag NFC stickers that were launched earlier this year in the UK.

The approach of using NFC stickers is far more favorable that relying on a built-in NFC capability within the phone itself, which would only hinder the mass adoption of this mode of payment, as it would exclude the many consumers who do not have an NFC enabled phone.

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Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune | 05 December, 2012, 10:21

Let alone the common man, it looks like even attendees of an august mobile technology event like Mobile World Congress are unlikely to have NFC-enabled smartphones in large enough quantities for the bank to justify developing a mobile wallet app. This doesn't bode too well for the prospects of NFC-based mobile payments.

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Matt Scott
Matt Scott - NCR Corporation - London | 07 December, 2012, 06:47 Actually before there was Barclaycard PayTag I think TurkCell and YappiKredit deployed NFC Stickers for Mobile Phones - I think that was in 2008/2009 (maybe earlier I'm struggling to recall). It does seem to be a bridging step until NFC Support in the devices is widespread and the back-end management/post-issuance management has been standardised.
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