AMSTERDAM - Gemalto, the world leader in digital security, has been chosen by National Commercial Bank (NCB) of Saudi Arabia to migrate its entire portfolio of credit cards to fast, convenient and secure contactless EMV cards. NCB, one of the country's largest banks with more than four million customers, will offer consumers the chance to save time when shopping with speedy transactions, using Gemalto's proven Clarista contactless EMV cards. The card was customized to meet the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) specifications and Gemalto was first to achieve that certification for a dual interface card in the kingdom.
Gemalto has a long-standing relationship with NCB and this new contract will place the bank at the forefront of the country's fast-developing contactless payment market. According to ABI Research, two million contactless cards will be deployed in Saudi Arabia by the end of 2016, with annual growth of 25% through to 2019. The number of contactless POS terminals is predicted to grow at 57% per annum over the same period.
The launch of NCB's contactless card portfolio supports the wider efforts of the SAMA to encourage the move to a cashless society. New regulations are also fuelling the trend to e-commerce and m-commerce across the country.
"We have chosen Gemalto to migrate our entire credit card portfolio based on the trust that has been built by the continuous dedication of their team since 2010," said Wael Abdulmoty Mohammed Hussain, Head of Credit Cards Consumer Finance Division Retail Banking Group for NCB. "Gemalto is fully supporting NCB's commitment to introducing the latest solutions that meet the demands of our customers for a more seamless shopping experience."
"This customized card is in line with Gemalto's approach to consistently suit its technologies to the very specific needs of local markets," said Eric Claudel, President of Middle East & Africa for Gemalto. "The logical next step is to consider further NFC payment technologies, including wearables, stickers and other form factors, and we confidently expect this trend to begin in Saudi Arabia in the very near future."
 Latest ABI Research report "Payment and Banking Cards & Contactless Technologies"
Gemalto (Euronext NL0000400653 GTO) is the global leader in digital security, with 2015 annual revenues of EUR 3.1 billion and customers in over 180 countries. We bring trust to an increasingly connected world.
Our technologies and services enable businesses and governments to authenticate identities and protect data so they stay safe and enable services in personal devices, connected objects, the cloud and in between.
Gemalto's solutions are at the heart of modern life, from payment to enterprise security and the internet of things. We authenticate people, transactions and objects, encrypt data and create value for software - enabling our clients to deliver secure digital services for billions of individuals and things.
Our 14,000+ employees operate out of 118 offices, 45 personalization and data centers, and 27 research and software development centers located in 52 countries.
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Press release (PDF): http://hugin.info/159293/R/2000299/737980.pdf
NCB Contactless Payment Card by Gemalto: http://hugin.info/159293/R/2000298/737903.jpg