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Saturday, 02 July 2016
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Madrid, Monday 16 December 2013 "la Caixa" launches Europe’s largest commercial mobile NFC payments system in partnership with Telefónica, Vodafone, Orange and Visa Europe
• For the first time ever, 80% of the market will have access to a mobile NFC payment system

• The bank’s customers will be able to conveniently and securely combine all their cards on their mobile devices, and use them to make purchases at retailers and merchants fitted with contactless POS terminals anywhere in the world.

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"la Caixa" is launching a commercial payment service in Spain using mobile NFC (Near Field Communications) technology, representing Europe's largest ever roll-out of such a system. For the first time a European bank will launch a mobile NFC payment system that is supported by the market's leading telecommunications operators as well as Visa Europe.

"la Caixa2 has created a NFC mobile payment system that combines a convenient and easy to use service with the added attraction of a mobile application that will support all of a customer’s cards on their mobile device, while also being protected by the strictest security guarantees for data storage and transactions.

Likewise, the support of the country's three largest mobile operators and Visa Europe means that the "la Caixa" mobile payment service will be available to an extensive number of users from the outset. Telefónica, Vodafone and Orange together represent more than 80% of the Spanish mobile phone market.

Forecasts indicate that the launch of mobile based payments will see the number of digital payment users exceed 100,000 in one year.

Cards securely stored on NFC SIM cards

"la Caixa" will begin the service in January via a launch for selected customers of the three mobile operators who frequently make contactless card payments. The system is due to be fully functional by February 2014, in time for the Mobile World Congress.

The new mobile NFC payment service will allow “la Caixa” customers to use their mobile devices to make purchases at merchants and retailers without having to attach stickers or any other accessories to their handsets. Data is transferred from the mobile device to an in-store point of sale (POS) terminal using the phone’s NFC technology.

Thanks to an agreement between “la Caixa” and the mobile phone carriers, all bank card data will be stored encrypted and fully secure on the mobile’s NFC SIM card. Thus, customers can combined all their “la Caixa” cards on their mobile device, regardless of what types of card they use (debit, credit, prepay, revolving, etc.) and at no extra cost.

Online contracting to ensure immediate availability

Users start the process by contracting the “la Caixa” mobile payment service online. The terminal’s NFC SIM card will then automatically download the customer’s card information, which will be managed via the wallet application, serving as a virtual wallet that stores the user's cards. Thus, the customer will immediately be able to make use of their card in digital format.

Every time a user requests a card for their mobile device, the system will check that their mobile supports such payments, basically meaning that it is NFC-enabled and has an NFC SIM card.

Contactless payments at all retailers and merchants

Mobile payments can be made at any commercial establishment that accepts contactless payments. There are currently more than 300,000 contactless-enabled POS terminals in Spain. “la Caixa” alone, which leads the merchants business via its Comercia Global Payments subsidiary, operates 110,000 contactless POS nationwide.

The payment experience is similar to the contactless card experience: the NFC mobile device, with the wallet and card activated, is brought near to the POS. As the transaction is based on proximity only, mobile phone coverage will have no impact on the payment process.

CaixaProtect security guarantee

The system is based on international contactless standards. This means a customer does not need to enter a PIN for any purchase under 20 euro. Over 20 euro customers will always have to enter their PIN. Users can also configure the service to require PIN entry for all contactless purchases.

The “la Caixa” mobile payment service is covered by all of the bank’s card security guarantees. The CaixaProtect service provides users with full coverage for any improper use of its electronic payment methods.

"la Caixa", a global leader in mobile banking and innovation

CaixaBank is Spain’s leading bank in innovation. It has 3.3 million mobile service customers, 1.7 million customers use its mobile banking channel each month, while its mobile apps have been downloaded more than 5 million times. It also has 9 million online banking customers and, according to Comscore, its website is the sixth most visited in Spain, with a market share of 32% against other banks.

"la Caixa" not only leads new banking channels in quantitative terms, it also leads in qualitative terms: it tops the European AQMetrix ranking for the quality of online banking services for individuals, businesses and foreign trade, as well as mobile banking.

It is also the leader in electronic banking with over 12.5 million cards in circulation, more than 3 million of which are contactless-ready. This technology is also supported by over 50% of “la Caixa” POS terminals (more than 110,000 out of a total of 200,000). “la Caixa” is also the world’s first bank to incorporate contactless technology in its cash machines, while its ATM network is the largest in Spain with more than 10,000 machines.

"la Caixa" is considered one of the world’s leaders in innovation and new technologies. It has received numerous awards in the field, including the award for World’s Most Innovative Bank at the 2013 Global Banking Innovation Awards, run by the Bank Administration Institute (BAI) and Finacle.

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