Metavante Technologies today announced that Bank Zachodni WBK (BZWBK) has deployed Metavante's CORTEX card processing software platform to provide Central and Eastern Europe with one of the region's first contactless prepaid cards.
BZWBK's initial contactless offering is a prepaid Maestro PayPass card to be followed by a VISA payWave product. With assets of over PLN 31 billion (over £ 7 billion), BZWBK is headquartered in Wroclaw, Poland. Metavante Technologies Ltd., a leading provider of prepaid and debit card processing and licensed software in Europe, is part of Metavante (NYSE:MV), a US-based provider of banking and payments technology.
"In 2007, BZWBK started a comprehensive process of growing the scale of its business. Contactless and prepaid became target areas for this growth, as they are both designed to create electronic transactions where they previously didn't exist," said Pawel Wlódarczak, director of Electronic Banking Systems, BZWBK. "When CORTEX evolved to support contactless, we seized upon an open market prepaid deployment, because besides converting small cash-based purchases to electronic transactions, it opened up contactless to people without a banking account."
Equipped with both a chip and magnetic stripe, the BZWBK-issued cards can be used in either contactless or traditional environments at all locations worldwide that accept MasterCard or Maestro payment cards. Polish consumers can take advantage of the contactless functionality for small purchases (i.e., up to PLN 50; £ 12) — eliminating the hassle of carrying change, typing in PIN numbers or signing paper authentications of transactions. The card can be reloaded through bank transfers and is accessible to all consumers, regardless of whether or not they have a BZWBK bank account. Contactless payment technology is already being supported by several commercial chains in the region, including McDonalds, EuroApteka and Mercer's Coffee.
"Metavante and its CORTEX platform have enabled a 'first' in Poland — contactless prepaid — and positioned BZWBK as a leader in both prepaid and emerging payments," said John Yeomans, president, Metavante Technologies Ltd. "Metavante's ability to deliver the latest paymentstts technology through a proven platform like CORTEX is strong evidence of its commitment to provide a wide range of payments products and position its clients for success in an evolving payments market."
Specific to the evolving nature of prepaid in Poland, according to data quoted in a March 2008 report published by Mercator Advisory Group, spending on prepaid payment cards in Poland is estimated to reach USD 11 billion (nearly PLN 24.5 billion) by 2010.
BZWBK has been a licensed CORTEX software client since 1996, using the software to support Card Issuing, Transaction Switching and Authorisation, driving a large ATM network and connecting to VISA and MasterCard schemes.