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Cloud-based mobile payments gaining momentum in Poland

By Gosia O’Shaughnessy, Regional Managing Director • Visa Europe

January 07, 2015

Leveraging Host Card Emulation (HCE) technology, nine Polish banks are bringing Visa cloud-based mobile payments to their customers. Thanks to the new solutions, the mobile payment landscape in Poland is at a turning point.

Why do we say so? Because today Visa issuers have access to new and innovative payment technologies such as HCE that enable our member banks to adopt and roll out services like cloud-based payments. This technology allows customers to make contactless payments quickly and safely using an NFC-enabled smartphone. Banks can offer this service rapidly to their customers carrying such devices, enabling them to enjoy contactless payment across a comprehensive network of retailers – in Poland, contactless terminals now account for over 75% of all POS terminals in stores and by the end of 2017 all POS terminals around the country will accept Visa contactless. This gives a great foundation for banks opting to integrate Visa cloud-based payments into their service portfolio, to offer innovative payment-related services for consumers to enjoy using in all kinds of retail environments.

Since the launch of the first Visa contactless card in Poland in 2008, Poles have enthusiasticly embraced contactless payment technology, becoming Visa’s largest market in Europe in terms of contactless transaction volumes. Close to 70% of Visa cards in the market have contactless functionality, with the technology accounting for more than 40% of all Visa payments in Poland. With the combination of contactless adoption and wide smartphone penetration*, the Polish market is primed for mobile payments and is re-enforcing Poland’s reputation as a hotbed for innovation in this space.

For Visa’s banking partners embracing Visa’s mobile contactless payment services point to the ease and intuitiveness of using a smartphone to make contactless payments, as well as potential of mobile contactless payments in paving the way for additional innovations in how customers use their mobile phone to manage their finances and spending.

Polish banks see Visa contactless payments by smartphone as an integral part of their mobile banking strategies. Nine banking providers, among them Bank Zachodni WBK, ING Bank Slaski, mBank, Bank Millennium and Raiffeisen Polbank, are currently working to make the cloud-based solution available to their customers, with the first commercial deployments expected in early this year.

I am positive that 2015 will be a breakthrough year for Visa mobile contactless payments in Poland — and such are my wishes for myself, our member institutions and their customers.

* PwC predicts that smartphones will make 48% of all mobiles in Poland by the end of 2014

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