CaixaBank and Visa combine to bring widespread contactless payments to Barcelona

Catalonian bank Caixa and Visa Europe are collaborating to introduce an extensive system of contactless payments to Barcelona, making the city the first in Europe to adopt the technology on such a scale. The project will be getting underway over the next few weeks and will entail distributing more than 1 million contactless cards, installing 500 ATMS with built-in contactless readers and introducing new POS to 15,000 businesses.

Transactions take place by holding the card in close proximity to the reader terminal initiating payment immediately. Purchases of value over €20 will require a PIN to validate the transaction. The new technology will particularly benefit businesses processing large volumes of low value transactions such as taxis, newsstands, cafes and restaurants.

Caixa aims to make the service available to 50% of its customers over the next 2 months, complete the distribution of contactless cards by the end of the 2nd quarter and have at least one contactless ATM installed at every one of its branches in the city before the end of the year.

The new infrastructure will also position the bank well for adopting mobile payments in the not too distant future when the much anticipated NFC terminals become available bcause they use the same technology.

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