It has been a busy year for BBVA Bancomer.
Just last month, the Spanish banking group celebrated a milestone when it announced that more than 1 million consumers globally had downloaded its HCE mobile wallet.
“One million BBVA Wallet downloads is the beginning of a journey. I firmly believe that people using plastic will be in a minority by 2020. As the only bank operating digital wallets in five countries around the world, we are at the forefront of the major transformation from plastic to mobile,” Mehmet Sezgin, global head of payments for BBVA, told NFC World in November.
Earlier this year, BBVA Bancomer made history by processing the first Host Card emulation (HCE) mobile payment transaction in Mexico. BBVA is the largest financial institution in Mexico, with more than 200,000 payment terminals — of which more than half offer contactless-enabled payment solutions from Verifone.
Carlos Lima, Verifone’s President of Latin America and the Caribbean, provided an exclusive interview to PYMNTS to discuss BBVA Bancomer’s efforts to provide consumers in Mexico with access to NFC mobile transactions and the benefits that come from using them.
“The first HCE transaction in Mexico was conducted at Punta del Cielo Café — a coffee shop and BBVA Bancomer client — using the VX 520 — one of Verifone’s portable countertop payment solutions. More than 100,000 of these contactless-enabled devices are used by BBVA Bancomer clients throughout Mexico,” Lima explained.
“BBVA Bancomer and Verifone have benefited from collaborative efforts in payments for over 22 years, and we are proud to have played a role in this historical event and congratulate BBVA Bancomer for yet another innovation milestone,” he added.
Lima pointed out that this industry first from BBVA Bancomer is coming at a very significant time, as the smartphone adoption in Latin America continues to grow at a rapid pace. The ability to provide innovation payment and commerce services will be crucial in keeping up with the increasing demand as well as reaching the larger unbanked population across Latin America.
Introducing HCE payment transactions in Mexico opens the door to more consumers having the ability to use their mobile devices to securely perform contactless payments. HCE technology enables a smartphone to “emulate” a smart card for contactless payments by storing credentials either on the cloud or directly within a device’s host processor, Lima explained.
“With integrated NFC capabilities, Verifone’s solutions support alternative payments as well a host of other value-added applications, including Vida Bancomer—a pay-with-points program available to BBVA Bancomer cardholders and supported by thousands of participating merchants throughout Mexico,” he stated.
“Additionally, these solutions enable loyalty programs and other NFC services — including building access and transit passes —to be delivered without the need for an in-device Secure Element such as an embedded security chip SIM or microSD card.”