Four partners consisting of La Caixa, Telefónica, Gemalto and Visa Europe have joined forces to show off mobile contactless payments (MCP) to delegates at next week's Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona.
Show organisers, GSMA, will put on an MWC NFC Experience this year from 25-28 February in Barcelona, showcasing an app built by Telefónica Digital, which will enable the 3,500 attendees to make payments via a Sony Xperia handset and a prepaid card developed for MCP by La Caixa’s MoneyToPay unit. Gemalto will act as the Trusted Service Manager (TSM) and Visa Europe will provide the acceptance network.
The app will come pre-loaded with EUR15, allowing delegates to make payments at contactless payment terminals across the Fira Gran Via show venue. In addition, the app will allow payments at all the contactless Point-of-Sale (PoS) terminals rolled out by La Caixa bank across Barcelona in cooperation with Visa’S PayWave acceptance technology – this amounts to more than 16,000 in-store PoS sites and 1,000 taxis.
Commenting on the initiative, which will be rivalled by MasterCard’s own MWC mobile payments global symposium at MWC, Sandra Alzetta, a senior vice president at Visa Europe, said: "Contactless transaction numbers quadrupled across Europe in 2012 and will quadruple again this year ...There is a natural evolution from contactless cards to mobile devices and we've seen a fantastic response from the markets where this kind of service is commercially available."
Miguel Ángel Pozuelo, head of new product and service development at La Caixa, said: “Innovation strategy is crucial for us and the development of new payment products is aimed at giving answers to all kinds of needs coming from our 13 million clients.” He added that the bank has promoted the creation of MoneyToPay, Spain's first electronic money operator exclusively for the prepaid card sector, in order to boost new payment methods linked to technological development, such as near filed communication (NFC) mobile devices and online wallets.
• Bobsguide will have a reporter at the MWC 2013 show next week and produce a full report on it, with follow-up interviews and articles. Please visit our blog section. For last year's show report please click here.