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  • 2011/11/14
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The French bank Credit Agricole runs a new mobile contactless payment in France based on the MicroSD technology of Visa Europe.

Credit Agricole and Visa Europe launch a new experiment for a mobile payment, based on a MicroSD* technology developed by Visa Europe. The objective of this pilot is to participate to the development in France of mobile contactless payment. This project is a continuation of experiments conducted in Nice in 2010 and Strasbourg in September 2011. The action of Visa Europe France and Credit Agricole is in synergy with the momentum generated by the Ministry of Economy, Finance and Industry, which is a generalization of the contactless payment card and mobile in the French territory.
The Pilot test will take place in Caen (Normandy), with Credit Agricole of Normandy, from December 2011 to June 2012.
As of December 2011, 200 Credit Agricole’s customers and employees will test this new payment solution. It uses a MicroSD* card that contains a Visa secure payment application. The integration of this card onto the phone will activate its NFC (Near Field Communication) functionality. Customers will receive a case containing the MicroSD card, which is specifically dedicated to the iPhone. The MicroSD card will be activated once the user has downloaded from the Apple Store, the Express Mobile Payment Application.
With the iPhone and its equipment, customers from the Caen agglomeration will be able to purchase up to 20 Euros from all merchants accepting Visa contactless payments. The payment process is simple and fast. Just bring your mobile phone as close to 5 cm from the payment terminal, the transaction will be completed in a few seconds. This is a most secure method of payment. Indeed, transactions and bank data are encrypted and stored on the MicroSD card. The customer and the merchant receive the same protection mechanism for a transaction than with the conventional credit card.
Credit Agricole and its subsidiary Cedicam chose Gemalto to customize the MicroSD cards, and to accompany the test’s developments. The MicroSD card and dedicated case to the iPhone are provided by Device Fidelity.
Contactless payment is at the heart of the Visa Europe strategy.
This payment method has a high added value for small amount purchases. The contactless technology is one of the major added-values of this future payment method. Indeed, integrated to a Smartphone, this technology also opens a new market for mobile payments.
With 30 million contactless Visa cards anticipated in Europe by the end of 2011, Visa Europe has a key advisory role, and coordination between banks and industry players is crucial to deploy heavily this technology across all countries. To date, Britain is the country that is most active in the development of this service, with 17 million contactless cards.
The deployment of contactless cards, easier and faster method of payment, is a prerequisite for a massive development of contactless mobile payment.
Contactless payment is deep evolution in the lives of Credit Agricole’s customers.
The French bank, le Credit Agricole brings the contactless technology at the center of its development strategy of payment methods. As a French leader in the market for credit cards, with more than 17 million cards issued, Credit Agricole wants to continue to offer innovative services to its customers and meet with their new needs. With contactless payments, the lives of Credit Agricole’s customers, both individuals and businesses, will dramatically change. The purchasing process will be simpler and shorter, allowing the reducing of queues in stores and facilitating faster payment.
In being involved in the development of contactless payment products, Credit Agricole brings proof that the customer relationship is central to its Strategic Plan, a relationship based on the utility of the services provided.
*Micro SD: The MicroSD (Micro secure digital card) format is a memory card. This is a storage device that uses Flash memory, which is derived from the Secure Digital format. The MicroSD is the smallest derivatives of SD cards. MicroSD cards are used in mobile Phones, digital camera and Smartphones.

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