Mellon Technologies, an IT integrator in Southeastern Europe, today announced its deployment of the first large-scale contactless EMV program in Greece, in partnership with the country's second-largest FI, Eurobank. The dual-interface chip cards used in the project are made by Gemalto.
The contactless technology allows cardholders to pay for purchases of up to €25 ($30.33) with no need to provide signature or PIN. For larger amounts the transaction can still be contactless, but the cardholder must enter a PIN or sign a receipt. The card also has a magnetic stripe and embedded chip, enabling its use with standard eftPOS terminals and ATMs.
For consumers, the use of contactless technology means greater convenience and speed, as well as less queuing time. For merchants, the acceptance of contactless cards for small-value purchases means less cash needed in the till and less time spent making change.
"This project marks the beginning of a new era for payments in Greece," said Despina Kontou, banking cards solutions product unit manager at Mellon Technologies. "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."
For more on this topic, visit the EMV research center.