Visa Europe chose Slovakia as the most innovative country in contactless mobile payments

| 18.07.2013

Visa Europe chose Slovakia to show foreign media editors the success of contactless mobile cards it introduced along with Tatra banka. One of the reasons is also the fact that Slovakia is a country with the greatest penetration of contactless cards in Europe.

Ever since Tatra banka introduced contactless payments in Slovakia in 2010, interest in using this type of payments has grown geometrically. Slovaks make more than a million contactless transactions a month, which is also a consequence of Slovakia having the greatest penetration of contactless cards (number of issued contactless cards per citizen) and second greatest penetration of contactless payment terminals in Europe. Just to compare: citizens of the European Union made altogether 25 million transactions in May 2013. With respect to size of Slovakia it is obvious that Slovaks enjoy using contactless cards.

This is the reason why the Visa Europe company invited to Slovakia 12 journalists from countries like Great Britain, France and Spain to introduce Slovakia as one of the most successful markets of contactless card use.

Tatra banka holds the first place in contactless card issue in Slovakia. It issued 627 thousand contactless payment cards out of the total number of 1.43 million of such cards in Slovakia in the period of almost three years since this new technology has been introduced whereby it achieved a 44 % market share.

Comfort for contactless card use is provided also by active placement of contactless payment terminals and holds primacy on the market with the number of 8,900 contactless payment terminals.

Therefore it is no surprise that interest in using contactless payment cards duplicated as much as five times in a short period from 2011 to 2012. While Tatra banka clients executed contactless payments in the amount of 3.3 million Euros in 2011, the sum in 2012 reached the value of as much as 16.5 million Euros. This way contactless cards fundamentally eliminate the amount of coins from circulation since clients use them rather for minor transactions in the average amount of 9 Euros.

"It is getting confirmed that Slovaks like innovations. Since we introduced of contactless payment cards in 2010 its use has grown up rapidly. And nowadays our clients pay contactless with pleasure using their mobile phone," stated Michal Liday, member of the board of Tatra banka responsible for retail.

Thanks to interest of clients in contactless payments Tatra banka as a leader in innovations has moved Slovakia up to the highest rating positions in development of contactless technologies in Europe. In 2012 Tatra banka became the first bank in the European Union that introduced contactless mobile payments via iPhone in May 2012. It was also the first bank in Slovakia that brought contactless mobile payments also for selected types of mobile phones with Android operating system thanks to its collaboration with the mobile operator O2 in January this year.

"Slovakia is a very interesting country for Visa Europe, with almost 10% of Visa transactions using contactless, this is a market where contactless has really taken off. The lead in innovation which Tatra Banka has taken is a key factor here and we are delighted that our partnership with them and Visa Europe chose Slovakia as the most innovative country in contactless mobile payments Telefonica Slovakia has been such a success." Sandra Alzetta, Visa Europe Senior Vice President, Mobile Business Unit.

Marína Smolková
02/5919 1593

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