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Handelsbanken, BankAxept and EVRY launch contactless payment from micro bank cards in wristbands

07 July 2018

(Oslo, 7 July 2018) Handelsbanken’s customers becomes the first in Norway to be able to pay contactlessly using a wristband thanks to entirely new micro format bank cards. “We think customers will use micro bank cards because they make it quicker and easier to pay than any other payment solution available today”, comments Anthony Brady, Manager for Cards at Handelsbanken.

The innovation is a micro format bank card that is so small it can be put into a wristband, bracelet, watchstrap, key ring or other location that the customer wishes. With a micro card on your arm, you will be able to pay contactlessly at all terminals that are ready to accept contactless payments. Handelsbanken, BankAxept and EVRY are currently testing the new solution out in Norwegian shops.

“We want to make paying as easy as possible for our customers. This micro bank card makes paying for small purchases quicker and simpler than any other solution currently available to customers. You can, for example, have this small waterproof card in a wristband on the beach so you can buy an ice cream as soon as you get out of the water without having to first fetch your wallet or mobile. We therefore think many people will like this solution and will use it on a day-to-day basis”, explains Anthony Brady, Manager for Cards at Handelsbanken.

Simple and secure
The micro bank card that can be put into a wristband is a BankAxept card equipped with EVRY’s contactless technology that can be linked directly to the user’s existing bank account. This technology gives customers the freedom to pay for things quickly and securely by tapping using a range of different types of wearable device. No PIN code is required for purchases of up to NOK 200. The payment is made in under a second and is as secure as using a normal bank card.

“In July alone, more than 2.7 million contactless card transactions were made using BankAxept cards in Norway, with usage increasing 30% month on month”, explains Jes Rasmussen, Product Manager Mobile, at BankAxept.

“We are now looking forward to testing out this even simpler contactless payment method for our customers", explains Anthony Brady from Handelsbanken. The micro bank cards will be offered to Handelsbanken’s customers later this year.

Contactless payment growing rapidly
“According to a survey we have carried out, nearly half of everyone in Norway would like to start using contactless payments. In Norway, nearly all payment terminals are equipped to process contactless payments, and more and more stores and chains are in the process of activating them”, explains Jes Rasmussen from BankAxept.

“With the rapid development we are seeing in the payment area, it is important for us as the bank’s collaboration partner to support both global trends and national initiatives. Handelsbanken was an early adopter of contactless payment, and we are proud to be collaborating with Handelsbanken again in this area. Norwegians have become more confident and used to paying contactlessly, and this is helping to open up the market for contactless payment to include everything from wearables to smart watches and mobiles. Our aim in relation to this is to contribute our specialist expertise to create a better experience for Handelsbanken’s customers”, explains Børre Midtgard, Sales and Marketing Director for Cards at EVRY.

Contact persons
Børre Midtgard, Sales and Marketing Director for Cards, Financial Services, EVRY, tel.  +47 913 02 762 
Viola Hellström, VP Communications Financial Services, EVRY, tel. + 46 73 708 1727
Anthony Brady, Manager for Cards, Handelsbanken, tel. +47 996 08 286
Jes Rasmussen, Product Manager Mobile, BankAxept, tel. +47 408 05 479
Vegar W. Heir, Chief Commercial Officer, BankAxept, tel. +47 951 27 697 

About Handelsbanken
Handelsbanken in Norway is one of the country’s leading banks in both the retail and business banking markets. In Norway Handelsbanken has a lending portfolio of NOK 250 billion. With 49 branches and approximately 750 employees, Handelsbanken is represented across Norway. In addition to traditional banking, Handelsbanken offers services in life insurance, asset management and securities (fixed income and currencies, stock brokerage, corporate finance). Handelsbanken in Norway is part of Svenska Handelsbanken. The group has 12,000 employees in over 800 branches across more than 20 countries, and was set up in 1871. Its head office is located in Stockholm. The bank is listed on the Stockholm stock exchange.

About BankAxept 
BankAxept is the national payment system in Norway, and eight out of every ten card payments made in shops are made using a BankAxept card. BankAxept can be used for both physical and digital transactions. Payment is approved in real-time using a chip and PIN code, contactlessly using NFC technology, or on a mobile phone. A check is always carried out against the consumer’s bank to check the authentication and also to verify that sufficient funds are available in the account. The purchase amount is then deducted immediately from the cardholder’s account. Since it was started in the early 1990s, BankAxept has been owned and managed by Finance Norway. In order to meet the challenges posed by new companies and new payment solutions, BankAxept AS was set up in April 2014. BankAxept AS’s aim is to manage and develop payment solutions over new channels on a commercial basis. This includes developing contactless payment options using cards and mobile devices, online payment solutions and instant payments. BankAxept, BankID and Vipps have been part of the same company since July 2018, which is owned by the Norwegian banks.

EVRY is one of the leading IT services and software providers in the Nordic region and has more than 10,000 customers across the private and public sectors. Every day more than five million people in the Nordic region use solutions delivered by EVRY. Through its strong local presence and in-depth technological and commercial insight, EVRY is a driving force for innovation and modernisation at its customers. EVRY reported turnover of NOK 12.6 billion in 2017 and has 8,500 employees across nine countries. Its headquarters are located at Fornebu just outside Oslo, and the company is listed on the Oslo stock exchange.

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