26 April 2018

Belfius introduces HCE mobile payments

15 June 2017  |  4023 views  |  0 Source: Worldline

Customers of Belfius Bank who have the Belfius Mobile application can now make payments with their Android compatible mobile telephone by holding it close to a payment terminal equipped with contactless technology.

They do not necessarily need to take their Bancontact, Maestro, Mastercard or Visa card out of their wallet anymore. Worldline, [Euronext: WLN], through its subsidiary equensWorldline specialised in financial processing, has developed the necessary technology to make this possible. It is the first solution available on the Belgian market that makes contactless payments possible with Bancontact, the preferred payment means of the Belgians. This innovation is bound to change radically the way consumers pay in the months and years to come.

Consumers will thus henceforth have a means of payment that offers the same security guarantees as payments by card. Merchants have no additional costs for accepting contactless payments initiated by Android compatible telephones. More than half of the country’s points of sale are already equipped with a contactless payment terminal. Worldline is currently working on a large scale operation to ensure that all shopkeepers can accept this type of payment by next year.

As secure as a payment by card

A contactless payment by telephone is as secure as a payment by card. The security and protection of confidential data were at the core of the development of the Worldline software.

When a consumer makes a contactless payment, a set of information is exchanged between the mobile telephone and the payment terminal. The means deployed by Worldline using Host Card Emulation (HCE) technology in particular, guarantee the security and authenticity of the payment.

Among security measures, the fact that the card number is not stored on the mobile telephone, but is replaced by an encrypted unique number, reduces the risk for fraud considerably.

Daniel Braeckman, General Manager of equensWorldline Belgium: “Contactless payment via smartphone will change our way of paying drastically. Worldline is particularly proud to bring this innovation on the Belgian market. Thanks to the incorporation of Bancontact, it is henceforth also possible to pay with a smartphone in a large number of large and small retailers. This innovation is moreover at the confluence of our business lines, namely to enable banks to provide secure, reliable and innovative solutions for their customers, and enable retailers to accept all types of payment, our prime concern being to provide optimal customer experience!”

Contactless payment in practice
A contactless payment can be made by simply holding an Android phone close to a payment terminal for a moment. The consumer does not have to take out his card from his wallet to make a payment - all he needs is his Android mobile telephone.
There is no need for a WiFi or mobile (4G/3G/2G) connection at the moment when the payment is made. The Belfius application downloads unique tokens from a secure server to make a limited number of payments without Internet connection.

For amounts below €20, the customer does not have to enter his PIN code, which makes payment more rapid.

For amounts over €20, the customer must enter his PIN code on his smartphone to validate the transaction. Users of the Belfius application can use the same PIN code as the card or choose another one.

Very heedful to the consumer, Belfius decided to offer users the possibility of deactivating the payment function without PIN code for amounts below €20. This is clearly in line with the desire of consumers who want to be able to choose to enter their PIN code when making a purchase.

And what about the merchant?
Merchants with a latest generation Worldline terminal can now accept all contactless payments by card and by mobile telephone. More than half of Belgian shopkeepers already have an appropriate terminal. This is the case in particular among the major retailers, such as Delhaize.

Roel Dekelver, Manager External Communications, Delhaize: “Innovation is in our DNA, and that is why we think it is important to offer our customers the most innovative means of payment. By enabling our customers to make contactless payments with their smartphone in our shops, we improve the customer experience even more. We are particularly delighted that this solution has been made possible with Bancontact, the preferred payment method of our customers.”

Worldline is currently working on a large scale operation to replace all the old terminals on the market. Our aim is to have all points of sale accept contactless payments by next year.

Furthermore, no additional investment is needed to be able to accept contactless payments. A contactless payment by card and smartphone costs the same as a traditional payment made by card. Bancontact transactions for less than €5 now cost just 2 cents, and transactions between €5 and €10 have dropped to 5 cents. Contactless payments are therefore as advantageous and enable consumers to pay rapidly and easily with their mobile telephone too.

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