Digital security firm Gemalto and Spanish
retail bank La Caixa are set to roll out one million Optelio
contactless EMV cards in Barcelona by the end of 2012.

Gemalto’s Optelio card works by waving or
tapping the card at the reader for small purchases of up to EUR20.
When the transaction exceeds this value, a PIN code will be
required to authorise the payment.

La Caixa claimed this is the first large scale
deployment of contactless payments in Spain.

The bank hopes to penetrate the cash market
and benefit from increased transaction volumes.

The move is also part of a long term strategy
to migrate its entire card portfolio to contactless technology
throughout Spain by the end of 2015.

The Spanish bank reported that it is creating
an infrastructure with 15,000 merchants equipped with contactless
payment terminals and 500 ATMs featuring built-in contactless

Gabrielle Bugat, senior vice-president of
secure transactions at Gemalto said:

“La Caixa is positioning itself at the
forefront of innovation. They are setting up the contactless
ecosystem which will help prepare the market for NFC mobile payment
and Gemalto is committed to support La Caixa in its long term