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Erste Bank launches range of NFC payment options in Austria

Erste Bank
OPTIONS: Customers of Erste Bank can now choose from three NFC payment methods

Customers of Erste Bank und Sparkassen in Austria can now make NFC payments using a wristband, sticker or mobile app launched by the bank. All three payment methods are available countrywide and can also be used to make withdrawals at the first NFC-enabled Erste Bank ATM in Vienna.

“With the NFC armband or the NFC-capable sticker, it is possible to comfortably pay via a Maestro transaction directly from one’s bank account,” Erste Bank says. “PIN codes and limits are the same for both products as for one’s existing ATM card and one can use them for payments worldwide.

“The same rules for payment sizes apply as well — no code is needed for payments of less than €25 but, from €25 upward, a PIN code has to be entered. The same security criteria that apply to traditional ATM cards also apply to these solutions.

“Fees for the sticker and the armband are reduced until year-end 2018 and amount to half of the cost of a normal ATM card. Currently, the fee is 0.97 cents per month. Armband and sticker can be purchased with immediate effect. The new NFC products can also be ordered at branch offices. Both products are available Austria-wide.”

Contactless withdrawals

“Erste Bank has put the first functional NFC ATM into service at the Erste campus in Vienna,” the bank continues. “This ATM can be used for contactless withdrawals. However, it always requires entering one’s personal PIN code.

“With immediate effect, a mobile app for payment with one’s smartphone is available from the Sparkassen Group as well. This requires an NFC-capable smartphone with Android software and an existing contract with A1, Drei or T-Mobile.

“For this purpose, one has to order an NFC-capable SIM card from one’s service provider. Thereafter, one downloads the BankCardMobil app from the Google Play Store and within one hour, one’s smartphone is transformed into a wallet.”

As of the end of April 2016, customers of Erste Bank und Sparkassen had performed 7.7m contactless transactions totalling €164m, according to the bank.

“In particular, the number of transactions involving small amounts of less than €25 has tripled since January 2015,” says Thomas Schaufler, chief retail officer of Erste Bank. “It is important for us that customers can choose their payment methods freely. We are offering new and comfortable possibilities, but people have to ultimately decide for themselves which methods they want to use.”

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