Austria’s Erste Bank has joined forces with
Visa to roll out the first contactless payment card with a
transport application and loyalty rewards in Central and Eastern
Europe (CEE).

The Smile contactless card will be introduced
by Romania’s Banca Comerciala Romana (BCR) – a member of Erste
Group Bank – and is scheduled to go live in the capital city of
Bucharest, although no specific time period has been released.

Smile will allow consumers to make contactless
payments of up to €25 ($36) and will be accepted at any contactless
card readers across Europe.

“[This] is a testimony that banks in Europe’s
emerging markets can build products which leverage the newest
technology and represent models of insight to those operating in
more advanced markets,’’ said Bilge Burak, the head of group card
management at Erste Group.

BCR’s contactless card deploys the same
technology as that of Transport for London’s Oyster cards and
allows card holders to pay for travel fares by swiping their card
past a reader. 

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