Getin Bank has introduced a new cloud-based mobile wallet in Poland that relies on using host card emulation (HCE), an emerging form of technology that's designed to reduce reliance on mobile operators.  

The Warsaw-based financial institution is utilizing a payments platform product from Oberthur Technologies that will allow customers to perform contactless payments regardless of their mobile operator. However, users will need NFC-compliant smartphones based on Android 4.4 or upper OS versions.  All Getin customers will have access to this payment platform at the end of the first quarter, according to a Feb. 19 press release.  

In order to access this application, customers need to install the Getin Bank HCE mobile wallet on their phone and register it with their Visa card. To make a transaction, they will log in and tap their mobile device on a contactless payment terminal. Furthermore, the application allows users to check the history of performed transactions and manage their payment cards.

"Proximity payments are gaining momentum in Poland, that's why we constantly work on the development of this kind of service," Pawel Wawiernia, director of payment cards and the alternative payments department at Getin Bank, said in the release.

HCE has been advancing as a mobile pay option for the past two years. The card networks support HCE, which is expected to enable fast expansion of mobile payments. HCE enables contactless payments from phones without requiring access to the device's secure element, a hardware component that is typically guarded by carriers. In practice, this allowed apps such as Google Wallet, which had been blocked by many carriers, to finally enable payments from any modern Android phone.

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