BBVA’s Pioneering HCE Service: Payments Innovation Head Talks Tokens, Reasons for Shunning SIMs

NFC Times Exclusive: Host-card emulation represents an “inflection point” for driving the rollout of NFC mobile payments and could also help the SIM-based NFC ecosystem to become more efficient and less costly, the head of payments innovation for major Spanish bank BBVA told NFC Times.

Javier Lopez Chicote, BBVA’s head of new means of payments, told NFC Times that the bank believes HCE will make it easier to reach all of its customers with mobile payment, though it hasn’t closed the door to working with telcos on their NFC SIMs in the future. 

To start, the bank is making its new HCE-enabled BBVA Wallet app available to 5% of its mobile-wallet customers for download on Google Play. It is also offering it to heavy users of the contactless stickers the bank began issuing, which work with BBVA’s pre-HCE version of the wallet app launched in December. Other BBVA customers with NFC-enabled KitKat phones can request the new app, as well. 

The bank said it has more than 200,000 users of the wallet and has issued 70,000 stickers to date. 

BBVA, one of Spain’s largest banks, Monday announced what it says is the first commercial launch of NFC payments, complying with new HCE specifications from Visa.

Its HCE solution, developed in-house, includes a rather sophisticated tokenization system. The bank says Visa has approved its HCE service and no waiver was necessary for the launch. Visa Europe, however, confirmed to NFC Times that it has no formal certification program or rules yet and is reviewing HCE services, such as BBVA's, on a “case by case” basis. 

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2,900 

Among Topics Covered:

  • Detailed look at HCE-enabled BBVA Wallet
  • Initial deployment facts
  • Reasons BBVA chose HCE over SIM-based NFC and other proximity technologies
  • How the HCE app and service works, including new tokenization system
  • Work with Visa Europe and Visa Inc. toward gaining approval for the HCE system
  • Other secure measures in BBVA’s HCE mobile service
  • Possibility for also supporting SIM-based NFC in the future
  • Spain’s growing contactless-acceptance infrastructure
  • Security measures for HCE-enabled BBVA Wallet, including risk management of tokens and PIN entry 

Sources Quoted:

Javier Lopez Chicote, head of new means of payments, BBVA 

Among companies and organizations mentioned:

BBVA
Visa Europe
Visa Inc.
MasterCard Worldwide
Telefónica
Vodafone
Orange
CaixaBank
Gemalto 

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