American Express tests HCE for NFC payments

American Express is working with Croatia’s Privredna Banka Zagreb (PBZ), part of the Italy-based Intesa Sanpaolo banking group, to pilot an NFC payments service that makes use of host card emulation (HCE) technology.

American Express

The pilot marks the first time an American Express card issuing partner has field tested HCE payments and is the first step in Intesa Sanpaolo’s plan to make HCE-based mobile payment services available across its network of banks.

To use the service, cardholders register with PBZ and download an app to their mobile phone. They then enrol a payment card using two separate verification codes that are provided by PBZ and can then make mobile payments at any POS terminal that accepts contactless payments.

“The PBZ mobile NFC payment services will be enabled initially on smartphone devices,” Intesa Sanpaolo explains. “With HCE, PBZ will be able to offer mobile NFC payment services to all of its cardholders in Croatia, regardless of the mobile network operator, and on multiple payment networks.”

“The launch of this pilot in Croatia marks an important milestone that will ultimately drive broader adoption of mobile payments across the region,” says Adriana Saitta, head of retail of Intesa Sanpaolo’s international subsidiary banks division.

“Following the pilot and the insights we gain from our tests, we will soon be able to make the HCE solution available to other banks within the Intesa Sanpaolo Group, allowing us to quickly deliver mobile NFC solutions across a diverse range of payment products.”

“American Express recognizes that consumers around the world are paying in new ways,” adds Mike Matan, head of American Express’s global network business. “We are delighted to launch this HCE pilot with PBZ and Intesa Sanpaolo, and we look forward to working closely with them as we continue to explore and introduce new mobile NFC payment options on the American Express network in Croatia.”

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