Nine Polish banks are pushing ahead with the country's mobile payment efforts, promising to launch a Visa-backed, cloud-based contactless service early this year.
The mobile payment system will incorporate Host Card Emulation technology, allowing users to make contactless Near Field Communication payments through Android smartphones when using a payment application.
ING Bank Slaski, mBank, Bank Millennium, Raiffeisen Polbank, Eurobank, Getin Bank, Bank Polskiej, Spoldzielczosci and Bank Smart will join Bank Zachodni WBK in providing the system for its customers, the banks said in a press release.
"The high number of banks working to deploy Visa mobile payments highlights the sector's immense interest in the service," Jeremy Nicholds, executive director for mobile for Visa Europe, said in a statement.
Polish consumers making the transition to mobile likely have experience with contactless payments, Visa Europe said. Close to 70% of Visa cards in the market have contactless functionality and the technology accounts for more than 40% of all Visa payments in Poland.
More than 75% of point of sale terminals in Poland accept contactless payments, but Visa Europe and supporting banks have plans to equip all terminals in the country with contactless technology by the end of 2017.
The Visa HCE system is not related to the Blik mobile pay system that received the backing of the National Bank of Poland two months ago.
Six banks ING, Alior Bank, Bank Zachodni WBK, mBank and PKO Bank Polski supported the launch of Blik through the open Polish Payment Standard.
Various players in the payments market Eurobank, BNP Paribas Bank Polska, Credit Argicole, Getin Bank, Idea Bank, Dotpay, CashBill and ITCard signed letters of intent to incorporate Blik into their processes.
Blik allows customers to link their bank accounts to their mobile payments, rather than credit card accounts.
That system has been in the works since July of 2013, when the banks first announced their intention to develop a mobile wallet that would bypass the credit card networks.