Digital security giant Gemalto announced that it is working with la Caixa, one of Spain's largest retail banks with more 10 million customers, to deploy Optelio contactless EMV cards for the country's first large scale deployment of contactless payment.
Gemalto is providing full personalization and production services at the company's local facility to support the banks effort to roll out one million contactless cards in Barcelona by the end of the year.
The Gemalto card will enable la Caixa customers to speed up small transactions up to €20 ($25.05) simply by waving or tapping their card at the reader. For higher value transactions, a PIN code will also be required. The solution is expected to enable the bank to penetrate the cash market and benefit from increased transaction volumes.
The Barcelona program reflects la Caixa's long term strategy to migrate its entire card portfolio to contactless technology throughout Spain by the end of 2015. To facilitate this vision, the bank is creating an infrastructure of 15,000 merchants equipped with contactless payment terminals and 500 ATMs featuring built-in contactless readers.
"With this new deployment, la Caixa is positioning itself at the forefront of innovation," said Gabrielle Bugat, senior vice president of secure transactions at Gemalto. "They are setting up the contactless ecosystem which will help educate and prepare the market for NFC mobile payment."
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