CaixaBank has joined several companies in payments and technology to create Spain's first Payment Innovation Hub in Barcelona.

Visa, Global Payments Inc., Samsung and Arval will help the bank operate the innovation hub. The bank says the research and development team at the hub will initially focus on payments in connected cars, domestic applications for Internet of Things, and commerce projects designed to enhance the shopping experience both online and in brick-and-mortar stores.

The hub will also be open to third-party developers and research companies, whether they are startups, small entrepreneurs or major corporations, the bank stated in a March 30 press release.

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

Visa comes into the partnership with experience in the payments hub field, having opened the Visa Europe Collab in London and an innovation hub in Tel Aviv, both in 2015.

The card brand also opened its Visa Developer Platform last year to make its network available to third-party developers.

Visa has plans to expand its Visa Token Service into 12 more European countries by the end of the year, the press release stated.

CaixaBank has been at the forefront of payment methods in Spain, issuing 15.3 million cards for a market share of 23%, and placing 335,000 point of sale terminals for merchants, with 90% of those having contactless capabilities.

Global Payments has worked with Samsung in the past on the contactless Samsung Pay solution. Arval provides mobile and digital solutions for various industries. It operates as part of the BNP Paribas Group, focusing on the retail banking sector.

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