âIn 2007, BZWBK started a comprehensive process of growing the scale of its business. Contactless and prepaid became target areas for this growth, as they are both designed to create electronic transactions where they previously didnât exist,â said Pawel WlÃ³darczak, director of Electronic Banking Systems, BZWBK. âWhen CORTEX evolved to support contactless, we seized upon an open market prepaid deployment, because besides converting small cash-based purchases to electronic transactions, it opened up contactless to people without a banking account.â
Equipped with both a chip and magnetic stripe, the BZWBK-issued cards can be used in either contactless or traditional environments at all locations worldwide that accept MasterCard or Maestro payment cards. Polish consumers can take advantage of the contactless functionality for small purchases (i.e., up to PLN 50; Â£ 12) â eliminating the hassle of carrying change, typing in PIN numbers or signing paper authentications of transactions. The card can be reloaded through bank transfers and is accessible to all consumers, regardless of whether or not they have a BZWBK bank account. Contactless payment technology is already being supported by several commercial chains in the region, including McDonalds, EuroApteka and Mercerâs Coffee.
âMetavante and its CORTEX platform have enabled a âfirstâ in Poland â contactless prepaid â and positioned BZWBK as a leader in both prepaid and emerging payments,â said John Yeomans, president, Metavante Technologies Ltd. âMetavanteâs ability to deliver the latest payments technology through a proven platform like CORTEX is strong evidence of its commitment to provide a wide range of payments products and position its clients for success in an evolving payments market.â
Specific to the evolving nature of prepaid in Poland, according to data quoted in a March 2008 report published by Mercator Advisory Group, spending on prepaid payment cards in Poland is estimated to reach USD 11 billion (nearly PLN 24.5 billion) by 2010.
BZWBK has been a licensed CORTEX software client since 1996, using the software to support Card Issuing, Transaction Switching and Authorisation, driving a large ATM network and connecting to VISA and MasterCard schemes.