Italy's Intesa Sanpaolo (Setefi) has embarked on the country's first major commercial nationwide rollout of MasterCard PayPass contactless cards.
The bank, which has tapped vendor Gemalto for technical support, is initially deploying the technology in the Milan area before extending it nationwide while upgrading the point of sale terminal base.
The system will enable Intesa Sanpaolo customers to make payments of up to EUR25 in participating stores by taping their cards on specially equipped readers.
The bank says 11 major retailers with a presence in Italian cities, including fast food restaurants, supermarkets and sports stores, have signed up to install the contactless payments terminals.
In November, Banca Popolare di Sondrio teamed with Oberthur Technologies on a pre-paid contactless Visa card that can also be used for ID and access control by students and staff at two Milanese universities.