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BBVA and Visa launch first commercial HCE mobile payments

BBVA is the first global banking group to commercially launch mobile HCE mobile payments based on new cloud-based payment specifications from Visa.

The new cloud-based system will allow BBVA customers with NFC-enabled Android

BBVA mobile banking app making an HCE mobile payment

BBVA and Visa launch first commercial HCE mobile payments

handsets to make contactless purchases by simply downloading an updated version of the BBVA Wallet app.

BBVA Wallet, which already has more than 200,000 users, operates in an integrated way on any latest-generation Android phone equipped with NFC technology.

“Our employees and some of our customers, who are the most active users of BBVA Wallet in Spain, are already using this latest technology that gives BBVA the opportunity to offer our millions of customers worldwide an incredibly simple and intuitive way to start using their phone for contactless payments,” explains Mehmet Sezgin, BBVA Global Payment Systems director.

The BBVA Wallet update is already operating in Spain, and will be extended to BBVA customers in the US, Mexico and Chile this year. “Our goal is for BBVA Wallet to become a product that is carried by and used by our customers across all the geographical areas in which we operate,” continues Sezgin.

The international expansion of BBVA Wallet has been possible through Visa’s Cloud Based Payments specification, part of which incorporates the use of Host Card Emulation (HCE) technology. Cloud-based payments enable in-store payment transactions using secure data held within the banks ‘cloud-based’ systems, as opposed to relying on a hardware-based Secure Element.

This means that the payment apps can run independently of the operator providing the telephony service, resulting in a qualitative improvement of the customer’s experience, as there will be no need to replace the SIM card.

“The banking industry has recognized the demand for mobile payments from customers across Europe,” says Jeremy Nicholds, Executive Director for Mobile, Visa Europe. “Mobile offers a faster way to make secure payments and also has the potential to integrate with other forms of mobile banking functionality, supporting better money management. Cloud-based payments and HCE functionality is helping improve the time to market for banks looking to offer mobile contactless to their customers, while broadening the accessibility for consumers.”

HCE technology is being incorporated into the main mobile operating systems and already works with the latest versions of Google’s Android 4.4 system.

BBVA is the first bank in the world to implement this technology in a commercial solution, consolidating BBVA status as a pioneer in mobile payment systems.

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