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BBVA First Bank to Offer Mobile Payments Via Host Card Emulation

Android users of the BBVA Wallet app will now be able to make NFC payments thanks to Visa’s new cloud storage specifications for credentials.

When Visa and MasterCard announced earlier this year that they would be supporting Host Card Emulation (HCE) for storing payments credentials in the cloud, it created an opportunity for banks to take a step forward in mobile payments. HCE eliminates the need for storing credentials in the mobile device, enabling banks (and others) to offer mobile payments without the help of telcos.

[For More on Host Card Emulation and Why It Is Important for Mobile Payments, Check Out: Cutting Complexity Out of Mobile Payments]

BBVA became the first bank to take advantage of this support for HCE, announcing today a new partnership with Visa that will enable NFC-based mobile payments for its BBVA Wallet app. The new mobile payments capability will be available to Android users through a new update, which is already available in Spain, and which the bank will make available to its customers in the U.S., Mexico and Chile this year, according to a statement by BBVA.

“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,” Jeremy Nichols, executive director for mobile, Visa Europe, said in the statement. “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 customers.”

Non-Android users of BBVA Wallet will still be able to make in-store purchases through a contactless sticker provided by BBVA, the statement added.

Jonathan Camhi has been an associate editor with Bank Systems & Technology since 2012. He previously worked as a freelance journalist in New York City covering politics, health and immigration, and has a master's degree from the City University of New York's Graduate School ... View Full Bio

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