Mobile payments without telecom operators? Soon in the Czech Republic

Press release

Prague, 31 August 2015 – Payments by mobile devices using HCE technology are growing increasingly popular with Visa member banks all over the world. Komerční banka is the first in the Czech Republic to introduce them soon.

Cooperating with Visa Europe, Komerční banka will launch a brand new type of mobile contactless payments in the Czech market in a few months. These payments are based on the HCE (Host Card Emulation) technology that supports payments through an emulated payment card safely embedded in the bank’s environment; the mobile device only has remote access to the card.

“Payment card holders will download, from Google Play, Komerční banka’s Mobilní banka application through which they will easily request a contactless payment card for their mobile phones. Once they receive the payment card in their mobile phones, the activation process is started; this process is intuitive and anybody can manage it in a few minutes. A great advantage is that the clients interested in mobile payments do not have to apply for a new NFC SIM card from their mobile operator or buy any extra add-ons for their mobile phones. Payments using these mobile phones are based on the same technology as contactless card payments and therefore can be made on all of the currently existing contactless terminals. This means that you will be able to make mobile payments at all major retailers,” explains David Brendl, Visa Europe’s innovation manager.

This payment functionality is based on Visa’s new service that enables its technology partners to expand payment availability in new smart devices such as mobiles, tablets and watches. New specifications significantly simplify the mobile payment system for new devices and make it possible for banks to market a modern and innovative payment product in a much shorter lead time.

Contactless mobile payments have spurred enormous demand amongst Visa member banks, including in the Czech Republic, one of the European leaders in terms of the number of transactions executed by contactless cards (approximately 3.3 transactions per month per card) and the amount of expenditure (approximately CZK 1,700 per month per card).

Commercial launch in a few months

The first clients of Komerční banka will be able to begin using this solution in a few months. “Komerční banka’s strategy is to offer innovative solutions, including mobile banking, which will simplify the management of their funds and payments for our customers. Launching Visa mobile payments fits perfectly within this approach,” says Radek Basár, Deputy Executive Director for Marketing and Communication at Komerční banka. “By implementing this service together with Visa Europe and Worldline, which is responsible for the technical aspect, we are investing in a revolutionary solution that enables a fast commercial launch of mobile payments,” adds Radek Basár.

“Visa supports all mobile payment technologies that banks decide to accept to satisfy their clients’ needs in this respect. We are delighted that Komerční banka has selected the Visa HCE solution for launching mobile payments, because we see the future of payments in this area,” adds David Brendl.

HCE mobile payment solution successful in Slovakia and Poland

Thanks to the HCE technology contactless payments can be made from any mobile device with an NFC (Near Field Communication) chip and Android 4.4 or higher OS without any need for a special SIM card or an external add-on.  

Visa mobile payments based on this technology have already been launched in Slovakia, where the VUB bank followed the example set by Spain-based Bankinter and the global financial institution BBVA.

A number of banks are discussing the potential launch of HCE payments with Visa Europe in Poland. For example, Bank Zachodni WBK launched this scheme at the beginning of this year.

Banks implementing Visa HCE mobile payments primarily highlight the remarkably easy and intuitive use of mobile phones for contactless payments, as well as the market potential of this technology that helps to offer a new service to large groups of users.  

On Visa Europe:

Visa Europe is a payments technology business owned and operated by member banks and other payment service providers from 37 countries across Europe. It is a leading payment system, and its market share by value increased from 55.5% in 2011 to 56.9% in 2013, therebyt outperforming its competitor MasterCard. Visa Europe is at the heart of the payments ecosystem providing the services and infrastructure to enable millions of European consumers, businesses and governments to make electronic payments. Its members are responsible for issuing cards, signing up retailers and deciding cardholder and retailer fees. Visa Europe is also the largest transaction processor in Europe, responsible for processing more than 16 billion transactions annually – at a rate of 1,627 transactions per second at peak times.

There are more than 500 million Visa cards in Europe now, while €1 in every €6 spent in Europe is on a Visa card. Total expenditure on Visa cards exceeds €2 trillion annually, with €1.5 trillion spent at point-of-sale. Since 2004, Visa Europe has been independent of Visa Inc. and incorporated in the UK, with an exclusive, irrevocable and perpetual licence in Europe. Both companies work in partnership to enable global Visa payments in more than 200 countries and territories.

For more information, visit www.visaeurope.com and follow @VisaEuropeNews.

On Komerční banka:

KOMERČNÍ BANKA is the only publicly traded Czech bank. As at 30 June 2015, KB had 42,834 shareholders, 37,666 of which were individuals from the Czech Republic. Komerční banka maintains a reliable level of capital and liquidity even under the Czech National Bank’s higher capital requirements for systemically important financial institutions, and it is ready to meet the requirements of the Basel III regulatory framework’s requirements, which have been gradually implemented since 2014.

KOMERČNÍ BANKAis one of the best run universal banks in Central Europe. It provides comprehensive services to clients in the areas of retail, corporate and investment banking. The Komerční banka Group’s 8,422 employees serve 2.5 million clients, who can use an extensive network of 398 business points throughout the country. Komerční banka currently operates 762 ATMs and 1.3 million of its clients use one of direct banking channels. KB is a part of the Société Générale Group.

On Worldline:

Worldline [Euronext: WLN] is the European leader in the payments and transactional services industry. Worldline delivers new-generation services, enabling its customers to offer smooth and innovative solutions to the end consumer. Key actor for B2B2C industries, with over 40 years of experience, Worldline supports and contributes to the success of all businesses and administrative services in a perpetually evolving market. Worldline offers a unique and flexible business model built around a global and growing portfolio, thus enabling end-to-end support. Worldline activities are organized around three axes: Merchant Services & Terminals, Mobility & e-Transactional Services, Financial Processing & Software Licensing. Worldline employs more than 7,300 people worldwide and generated 1.15 billion euros revenues in 2014. Worldline is an Atos company. >www.worldline.com