Banco Sabadell Launches NFC Pilot with Visa (March 26, 2013)
Spain’s Banco Sabadell, operating under various local bank brands from its headquarters in the city of Sabadell, has launched an NFC payments pilot with mobile network operator Telefónica and BlackBerry. Participating customers will receive an NFC-enabled BlackBerry Curve smartphone with their Visa payment card details stored in the handset, the bank said. Customers may download an app and use the NFC phone to make payments at POS terminals equipped with contactless payment technology. The app enables customers to receive instant notifications of transactions and to manage spending. Banco Sabadell last year rolled out contactless payment terminals to its merchant base in Spain and began offering contactless payment capabilities for all payment cards it issues, touting speed and convenience. Contactless payments under 20 euros (US$25) do not require a PIN, the bank said.
Spain is becoming a hotbed of NFC development. Barcelona-based La Caixa bank in December launched a push to make Barcelona a contactless payment hub in advance of the Mobile World Congress held there last month. La Caixa distributed contactless payment stickers to 200,000 banking customers to encourage them to tap to pay, and to help urge merchants to upgrade payment terminals to accept contactless payments.