Mellon Technologies, a leading IT integrator in SE Europe, announced the implementation of the first large-scale contactless EMV project in Greece.
The project has been initiated together with Greece's second largest financial institution, Eurobank, and already the first contactless credit cards are available for the bank's customers.
With the contactless technology, cardholders are able to pay for goods of up to €25 with no need to enter a PIN or sign the payment slip, whereas for larger amounts the transaction may still be contactless but the cardholder will need to either enter a PIN or sign the slip. The same card (based on dual interface technology) also bears a magnetic stripe and an embedded chip so that it can also be used on all the standard card acceptance devices (eftPOS terminals and ATMs).
The biggest advantage of contactless payments is the transaction speed -by simply holding a contactless-enabled card over a reader, without entering a pin or signing a slip. While a typical card payment needs approximately 12 seconds to conclude, the contactless payment takes less than a second. For consumers, this means greater convenience and speed for their purchases, as well as less queuing time. For merchants, the acceptance of contactless cards for small-value purchases of up to €25, will significantly increase security as it minimizes the need of keeping cash at the till, whereas it will greatly facilitate the transaction process as there will be no need for change.
"This project marks the beginning of a new era for payments in Greece. We do not however expect to see a widespread adoption before the middle of 2013, mainly due to the large number of small retailers that are dispersed even at the most remote areas of the country. What is certain with this project, is that Eurobank sets the pace for the deployment of contactless payments in Greece, bringing the market one step closer to NFC mobile payments," said Despina Kontou, Banking Cards Solutions Product Unit Manager, at Mellon Technologies.
For this project Mellon Technologies cooperated with Gemalto who has already delivered more than 200 million dual interface contactless cards globally and which Mellon represents for over 15 years.
*Near Field Communication