Spain's La Caixa bank is to introduce a commercial NFC mobile payment service in partnership with Visa Europe and the country's three leading mobile network operators — Telefónica, Vodafone and Orange. Between them, the three carriers hold 80% of the Spanish market.
The new service will allow customers to store all their La Caixa cards — debit, credit, prepaid and revolving — on the SIM in their NFC phone. Selected customers will be able to use the service in January and it will then be fully rolled out in February 2014, in time for the Mobile World Congress.
La Caixa expects that more than 100,000 customers will sign up for NFC payments in the first year.
There are currently more than 300,000 contactless POS terminals in Spain, the bank says, and customers will be able to make purchases of up to €20 (US$28) without entering a PIN. Higher value purchases can also be made via NFC, by entering a PIN at the point of sale.
"The La Caixa mobile payment service is covered by all of the bank's card security guarantees," the bank adds. "The CaixaProtect service provides users with full coverage for any improper use of its electronic payment methods."