Caixa Bank and its partners in Spain's first cross-industry collaboration to advance payments technology have officially launched their research lab in Barcelona.

Global Payments Inc., Visa, Samsung and leasing company Arval joined the bank last spring in revealing the concept for the Payment Innovation Hub to specialize in merchant commerce and payment methods.

La Caixa's head office in Barcelona
La Caixa's head office in Barcelona Bloomberg News

The new hub, located at Barcelona's Pier01 technology center, will accommodate more than 100 digital and technology businesses and startups. The partners have committed an initial investment of 5 million euros to fund the project over the next three years.

The hub will specialize in research and development in seeking solutions for online and offline merchant commerce, while addressing emerging trends from biometrics to Internet of Things, blockchain and machine learning.

Projects at the Payment Innovation Hub will focus mainly on customer experience and security, as well as new payment models and business opportunities, Caixa said in a Monday press release.

Initial projects will include converting cash payments to digital in different environments; promoting research into "invisible payments," or those that eliminate traditional consumer lines at point of sale terminals; supporting fintech operations under PSD2 guidelines; and advancing the concept and research of connected cars.

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