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A new deal between Visa and Spanish bank La Caixa will see contactless payments rolled out across Barcelona.

One million NFC-enabled cards will be issued, 500 ATMs upgraded and 15,00 new point-of-sale terminals installed around the city.

The roll out will begin in the next few days, and La Caixa hopes to have 50% of its Barcelona customers equipped with the new cards by the end of February.

The technology allows users to pay for goods costing up to €20 just by touching their bankcard on a contactless terminal.

Barcelona was chosen as a starting point to take advantage of next month’s Mobile World Congress, where a successful demo of NFC payments could help it gain traction among industry heads.

Though NFC technology isn't exactly new technology, it is thought that Barcelona will become the first city where this is a common method of payment.

Visa is also hoping for similar success around the London 2012 Olympics, which it hopes to make the first contactless games, showcasing its NFC technology to millions of tourists.

The announcement is initially focused on bankcards, but the technology also supports payments using NFC-enabled mobile phones.

On Tuesday Visa announced that it had certified its NFC payment system for use in LG, Samsung and RIM smartphones.

The credit card company said it expects mobile payments to be available this year.

La Caixa's roll out of NFC payments in Barcelona comes after a successful trial in the Catalonian town of Sitges and in the Balearic Islands.

According to the Financial Times, 86% of cardholders in those trials said they preferred using contactless cards.

David Moth

Published 13 January, 2012 by David Moth @ Econsultancy

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

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Comments (1)

David Petherick

David Petherick, Head of Digital Marketing at First Vehicle Leasing

It will be interesting to see the numbers from Barcelona in six months or so.

I think the big advantage is in the speed of transactions. I really wish it was a reality on Edinburgh's buses!

almost 5 years ago

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