Carrefour supermarkets have revealed a contactless debit card which can be used for payments. This technological tool is gradually becoming more accepted in Belgium. “It took five years for NFC (near-field communication payment) to work in Belgium. Its time has come,” said Thierry Gosset, Chief Executive of Fimaser, the financial subsidiary of the supermarket group.
“Currently, 25% of payment terminals are ready for this kind of technology, and we think the figure will reach 50% by the end of 2016,” reckons Jean-Marie de Crayencour, in charge of Belgium and Luxemburg at Visa Europe which partners Carrefour for the launch of the new Flex card.
The card works like a normal debit card and is accepted throughout the Visa network for payments or for cash withdrawals in Belgium and abroad. The card itself costs six euros. Running costs are 1.5 euro per month and the same amount is billed each time a withdrawal is made abroad. “It is not a credit card and overdrafts are not possible. It is a rechargeable card linked to an account,” explained Baptiste van Outryve, Carrefour spokesperson. The card also allows users to manage their budget by sorting out spending by category, revealing trends, and letting them set up alert levels and maximum spending per type of purchase.
Contactless payments with the Flex card, will not be limited to any amount. Last September Carrefour Belgium announced all its NFC terminals would be equipped to take contactless payments by the end of 2015.