Slovenian bank Nova Ljubljanska Banka (NLB) is teaming up with UK e-money firm Prepaid Financial Services (PFS) to launch a prepaid contactless card programme as it targets younger customers. The two are pairing up to offer a MasterCard and mobile sticker product on the back of a soft launch last year that saw “substantial” interest from millennials. Now available across all the bank’s branches in Slovenia, the bank says 5,000 customers signed up to its pilot in the first two months it went live.
Opting into contactless prepaid stickers for mobile devices means banks and other financial institutions can offer the contactless services, without needing to rely on partnerships with telecoms networks. NLB says it provides bank accounts to more than 60% of Slovenia’s population.
The tie-up comes as adoption of contactless payments continues to boom in Europe, with payments made using MasterCard and Maestro surpassing 1bn in 2015. According to recent numbers from the firm, that’s a 150% uptick in transactions compared to a year earlier. It said 13% of transactions made in-store across the continent in the last three months of the year were made on cards, phones and other devices using contactless technology. It’s not just the number of transactions that is increasing, but the size of payments, which the report says climbed 183% compared to a year earlier. Meanwhile, Worldpay recently warned that retailers not offering contactless risk being left behind as consumers increasingly expect to be able to pay using the technology.
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