Mobile-payments trial kicks off in Spain

Mobile-payments trial kicks off in Spain

Summary: Europe's largest mobile-payments trial is taking place in the Spanish city of Sitges, where locals are using a Samsung Touch Star device to make contactless transactions

TOPICS: Emerging Tech

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  • Residents of the Spanish city of Sitges, near Barcelona, are participating in Europe's largest mobile-wallet trial.

    Instead of handing over cash or a card at the end of a shopping trip, 1,500 locals are getting the chance to pay for their purchases by swiping their mobile phone over a contactless reader at the till.

    The handset that participants are using during the pilot is the Samsung Touch Star, pictured above.

    The device contains an NFC (near-field communications) antenna, which allows it to make contactless payments.

    Unlike in a 2008 London mobile-wallet pilot, the handsets are not pre-loaded with cash but are linked to the trial participants' existing bank accounts — which means they are spending their own money and making the trial more commercially realistic.

    Photo credit: Natasha Lomas/

  • Once the app is opened, the participant's virtual Visa card is shown inside the virtual wallet. The card is stored on the SIM, which acts as a secure element.

    The other four slots in the wallet are empty for now but Visa envisages other types of cards — such as travelcards and store loyalty cards — being part of a mobile wallet of the future.

    Photo credit: Natasha Lomas/

Topic: Emerging Tech

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