Citadele Bank

VISA Cardholders Will Also be Able to Pay by Smartphone in Latvia

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Continuing its development of wearable technology, Citadele Bank has widened opportunities for clients to pay in stores by smartphone. Now, in addition to Citadele’s Mastercard and Maestro cardholders, VISA cardholders will be able to pay via smartphone if they have an Android operating system (Samsung, HTC, Huawei, etc.).

Since autumn 2017, Citadele has offered clients the opportunity to pay in stores with their Android smartphone by linking it to a Mastercard or Maestro payment card. This service has been expanded, and VISA cardholders will now also be able to enjoy smartphone payments. Since 2017, Citadele has also provided payments using wearable technologies such a wristbands and stickers. iPhone users can also pay with their phone by attaching a sticker.

This wearable technology can be used to pay in all retail locations with contactless payment terminals.

“Studies show that around two thirds of Latvian inhabitants currently use a smartphone. They play an increasingly significant part in our daily lives, uniting communication, photography, search, internet banking and payment functions. The Latvian public is increasingly willing to use innovative payment methods in their everyday life. 41% of the Latvians admit that they are willing to pay with their phone or other wearable technology in the near future,1 and our task is to give the public these wider opportunities,” explains Citadele Bank Member of the Management Board, Chief Commercial Officer Retail Vladislavs Mironovs.

“In our experience, we see that those clients who have tried paying for their purchases with their phone begin using this function more and more. The average number of monthly payments made with a smartphone in 2018 was 52% more than in 2017, when we introduced this opportunity. In the first quarter of this year, average number of monthly payments are 26% higher compared with figures from 2018. The sum paid for using smartphones has also increased - if, in 2018, it was 43% higher than in 2017 on average per month, then this year it has increased by 14% compared with the average monthly purchase sum of 2018,” adds Vladislavs Mironovs.

Citadele’s statistics show that the average payment sum using a wristband is 6.34 Euro, while with a sticker the average payment sum is 7 Euro, and with a smartphone is 8.73 Euro. People paying with their smartphone, wristband or sticker usually make small, fast purchases in retail stores, petrol stations and pharmacies. Wearable technology is most often used when people go for a walk or participate in sports, when bringing a wallet is inconvenient or has been forgotten.

“Since 2017, we have been purposefully installing new card terminals with contactless functionality in retail locations. This is important so that people can pay using their contactless card, smartphone, wristband and sticker. Currently, 95% of Citadele card terminals are contactless, which is well above the national average,” says Mironovs.

“We are committed to expanding opportunities for all Latvian and Baltic inhabitants and businesses. That’s why, for several years now, we have been purposefully introducing various innovative technologies to the banking service field – from intuitive mobile banking apps with innovative features, the option of opening an account using a selfie without the need to come to a branch, confirming payments using facial recognition and fingerprints, to the ability to pay using a wristband, sticker or smartphone. We continue to innovate our products and services and offer a seamless and convenient experience for existing and new customers,” explains Citadele Bank Member of the Management Board, Chief Technology Officer Slavomir Mizak.

As reported, Latvia was the first of the Baltic states to introduce payments via smartphone, wristband and sticker.

Smartphone payments are easy:

  • download the Citadele mobile app;
  • activate the NFC function in your smartphone settings;
  • activate “Tap&Pay” function in the Citadele app Settings (here you can also choose the maximum sum which you can pay without entering your PIN code).

To pay via smartphone, it must be placed near the terminal just like with a contactless card - payment takes place when a payment confirmation shows on the screen.

You can pay with your smartphone wherever there is a contactless payment terminal.

Just as secure as other bank payments

Smartphone payments, just like other services offered by the bank, are secure. Our mobile payments comply with all international card system security standards, and the app has the highest level of security. “For additional security, the user can set the maximum amount allowed without entering a PIN code, although a PIN must be entered for payments over 50 Euro. Furthermore, if really necessary, the mobile payment function can be blocked remotely,” adds Slavomir Mizak.

We encourage the public to ensure the security of their smartphone by adding a screen lock (unlock with a pattern, PIN, fingerprint, FaceID or password) as well regularly installing updates for the app and operating system.

The mobile payment solution is an original Citadele service developed by employees from three teams as part of the company’s innovation programme: the cards and mobile payments, e-business, and IT departments, in collaboration with the IT company D8 Corporation.


1The survey of the Latvian public by Mastercard and Finance Latvia Association, in collaboration with SKDS, was undertaken in autumn 2018, with 1005 respondents aged between 18 and 75.

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