#Walletless: Making High Value Host Card Emulation (HCE) Transactions

In Host Card Emulation, Insights, Mobile Solutions, Security, Technology by Salim Dhanani

A colleague and I raised a few eyebrows – in the best possible way – while dining out in Barcelona last week.


by Salim Dhanani
Director of Business Development

After a round of drinks and tapas, the bill came and I was in the midst of checking Yelp reviews for our next destination. Instead of fishing through my bag for my wallet, I just swiped over to Carta’s white label digital wallet and paid the €117 bill with a tap of my phone. It was a seamless process.Our server was confounded at first, but the minute she saw the transaction go through, she was near applause and even called over some co-workers to see.

Spain has one of the most advanced contactless payment ecosystems – with one of the highest number POS devices per capita. It was the first country to accept high value HCE transactions – for example, for purchases over $25 – making itself a trendsetter in payments.

That’s pretty exciting for Carta as a processor and HCE provider, but as a cardholder, I was excited to see the level of security in the transaction.

A Mobile PIN had been entered on the device to decrypt a token for contactless payment, but as it was a High Value Transaction, it was required that the same Mobile PIN was entered onto the POS device. It was a smooth experience as there was only one PIN and, more importantly, it felt safe with secure interactions taking place on two devices.

It was the perfect payment experience. Hold on to your smartphones – this is a great signal of what’s about to come.