Another night of fanfare, mayhem, tears (not really!) and joy, as the 2014 Contactless Intelligence Contactless & Mobile Awards honored achievements across a wide range of sectors and countries throughout Europe and further a field.
Now in its seventh year, the Contactless & Mobile Awards (sponsored by Visa Europe) has yet again attracted a record turnout, making it an important fixture in the contactless calendar. “We’ve seen entry numbers grow year-on-year, highlighting the dynamism of this burgeoning industry,” said Steve Atkins, Editor-in-Chief of Contactless Intelligence and CEO of Krowne Communications, the company behind Contactless Intelligence. “Whereas other awards ceremonies focus on behind-the-scenes technological innovations, we honour those firms that are really making a difference in getting contactless devices into the hands of users and encouraging consumers to use them at both major international and small retailers throughout the world”. New for 2014 are two categories; ‘Contactless Payment Collaboration’ and ‘Retail’. “Contactless Intelligence was keen to create these two new categories because we felt that these are two intrinsic areas that showcase what it takes to bring contactless and NFC technology to the general public. Both categories represent areas that are vital to the mainstream adoption of contactless technology,” added Atkins.
This year’s CMA champions accepted their trophies at a gala dinner at Tower Bridge Hilton, London, on April 29, 2014. The winners are:
- Contactless Payment Collaboration – PKO Bank Polski (Poland)
- Retail – Heidi.com (Switzerland)
- Transportation and Ticketing – Transport for London (United Kingdom)
- Mobile Payment – BBVA (Spain)
- Innovation – Selinko (Belgium)
- Customer Experience – UBS Switzerland (Switzerland)
- Loyalty – Escher Interactive (Ireland)
- Public Domain – Vix Technology (Australia)
- Marketing Campaign – Thinaire (USA)
- Infrastructure – ATM / Smarting (Spain)
- Eco-System (sponsored by Samsung Semiconductor Europe) – Bell ID (Netherlands)
For the second time, there was an award open to all finalists – the Industry Choice Award. Voting was open to anyone who was willing to cast a vote. After a frenetic ten days voting, the emerging winner was individual entrant Ibrahim Serhat BULUT (Turkey).
“Visa is delighted to be sponsoring the Contactless and Mobile Awards again in 2014 and we are excited by the increase in the quantity and variety of nominations this year and in the level of innovation in mobile payments. During the past year we have witnessed a major transformation in the world of payments. Visa contactless payments are now available in twice as many European countries as this time last year and consumers have become increasingly comfortable using the technology, making over 340 million transactions in the past 12 months. We should not think the work is finished though and the next two to three years will be critical to the success of both contactless and mobile contactless. We all need to continue enhancing consumer awareness and extending availability to achieve the vision of a ubiquitous contactless solution,” said Mark Austin, Director of Contactless at Visa Europe (Platinum Sponsors of the CMAs).”
Visa Europe presented its Visa payWave award for Best Contactless Awareness and Education Campaign to Transport for London (UK), while Mark Ritzmann & Christian Wirtz from Vodafone took joint ownership of the Visa payWave Business Leader of the Year prize.
Atkins said: “The quality of awards’ entries continues to improve each year, demonstrating that contactless is fast becoming a technology that brings advantages to citizens and businesses alike. Whether it’s to increase throughput, to reduce the amount of cash used by a firm or to encourage spending, more merchants are choosing to give contactless a go. And they’re being encouraged to do so by consumers who are rapidly recognising the benefits of the technology in terms of convenience and time saving.”
This year’s judges included Wendy Atkins – Contactless Intelligence Editor [Head Judge], Thomas Arenz – Samsung Semiconductor Europe, Mark Austin -Visa Europe, Michel Barjansky – ex RATP, John Berry – European Commission (Research & Innovative Transport Systems), Paul Chamberlain – Association of Convenience Stores, Paul Crutchley – GSMA John Devlin – ABI Research, Kevin Farquharson – Smart Card Networking Forum, Kristian T. Sørensen – Mobey Forum, Frédéric Vasnier – SIMalliance, Samee Zafar – Edgar Dunn
As in previous years, Mark Jones acted as Master of Ceremonies.
“The number of firms that now want to talk about what they are doing with contactless globally is encouraging for the industry, but it makes the judges’ job tougher every year,” concluded Atkins. “We’re grateful for the time everyone spent analysing the input in some very tough categories. There were some particularly strong entries in certain categories, such as Retail and Marketing Campaign which meant some of the results were incredibly close.”