Press release

CaixaBank, Global Payments, Samsung, Visa and Arval inaugurate the Payment Innovation Hub to shape the future of merchant commerce

The Spanish first cross-industry collaboration to create an innovation hub in the field of payment methods

Payment Innovation Hub opening event

• Located at Barcelona’s Pier01, the 1,000-square metre facility features a wide range of services, including an exhibition area, an auditorium and a multifunctional space.

• Multiple lines of research will be pursued at the hub, ranging from biometric applications through to solutions for the Internet of Things, while developing blockchain and machine learning technology.

• During the first few months of activity the hub will work on creating cashless spaces, invisible payment applications, developing fintech projects, and research into connected cars.

CaixaBank, Global Payments Inc., Samsung, Visa and Arval today inaugurated the Payment Innovation Hub, Spain’s first innovation hub specialising in merchant commerce and payment methods, and one of the first anywhere in the world to be backed by a cross-industry businesses each of them leaders in their respective business areas.

Attending the opening ceremony were Juan Alcaraz, CaixaBank Managing Director; Ciaran Cassidy, Global Vice President E-commerce Product Strategy at Global Payments; Celestino García, Corporate Vice President of Samsung Spain; Bertrand Sava, Managing Director of Southern Europe for Visa, and Luc Soriau, CEO of Arval Spain.

The Payment Innovation Hub is located at Barcelona’s Pier01, a space set up by Barcelona Tech City to accommodate more than 100 digital and tech businesses and start-ups. With a total floor area of 1,000 square metres, the facility is equipped with all the services and resources required for R&D&I projects: coworking areas, a product demo and testing zone, and even a 120-seat auditorium, which will not only host activities run by the hub team, but also innovation events from other businesses and organisations.

An initial total investment of 5 million euros has been earmarked for the project over the next 3 years.

The centre will be staffed by a dedicated multidisciplinary team, although each project will have its own group of researchers, which also may include members of the Payment Innovation Hub, experts from partner companies, independent specialists, start-ups, or other groups and institutions interested in specific areas of research.

Research into new solutions for the merchant commerce of the future

The hub will specialise in R&D&I initiatives that seek novel solutions for online and offline merchant commerce, and that address emerging trends and consumer demands. There are several ongoing areas of investigation, ranging from biometrics to the Internet of Things, including the harnessing of new technologies such as blockchain and machine learning.

Projects at the Payment Innovation Hub will largely focus on customer experience and security, as well as exploring new models and business opportunities related to the world of payment methods.

In the first few months the centre has plans to pursue four core projects:

  • Creating cashless spaces: A cashless space is one where all payments within a specific enclosure are digitised. The Payment Innovation Hub will develop cashless solutions for different environments.
  • Invisible payments: This is a ground-breaking trend with real potential to shake up brick-and-mortar merchant commerce by eliminating lines at cashiers. Amazon and Google are already running projects in this area, with rapid progress anticipated over the coming years.
  • Fintech: The introduction of the PSD2 directive as of January 2018 will ramp up the potential for partnerships between financial institutions and fintech firms. The Payment Innovation Hub will explore potential new services under the directive and the growing convergence between tech companies and banks.
  • Connected cars: The rise of the connected car has opened the door to new possibilities, such as motorists paying at service stations without leaving their vehicles, as well as new solutions for car parks and accessing events or enclosures.

Industry leaders

The aim of the project is to establish a world-leading innovation hub in payment methods. In fact, the partner companies behind the initiative are among the most innovative anywhere in the world in their respective areas of specialisation.

CaixaBank is considered a major driver of innovation in financial services worldwide, serving 5.6 million online banking customers, of which 4.1 million are regular mobile banking users. The bank leads the electronic banking market, with more than 15.6 million cards in circulation and a market share in terms of turnover of 23.3%. It was one of the first banks anywhere in the world to commercially launch contactless payment systems and mobile payment platforms, winning it numerous international awards. For further information:

Global Payments Inc. (NYSE:GPN) is a leading worldwide provider of payment technology services that delivers innovative solutions driven by customer needs globally. Its technologies, partnerships and employee expertise enable it to provide a broad range of products and services that allow its customers to accept all payment types across a variety of distribution channels in many markets around the world. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia with more than 10,000 employees worldwide, Global Payments is a member of the S&P 500 with customers and partners in 30 countries throughout North America, Europe, the Asia-Pacific region and Brazil. For further information:

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. inspires the world and shapes the future with transformative ideas and technologies. The company is redefining the worlds of TVs, smartphones, wearable devices, tablets, digital appliances, network systems, and memory, system LSI and LED solutions. For further information:

Visa Inc (NYSE:V) is the world’s leader in digital payments. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network - enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company’s relentless focus on innovation is a catalyst for the rapid growth of connected commerce on any device, and a driving force behind the dream of a cashless future for everyone, everywhere. As the world moves from analogue to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce. For more information, visit (, the Visa Vision blog ( and @VisaInEurope @Visa_ES.

Arval: Founded in 1989 and fully owned by BNP Paribas, Arval specialises in full service vehicle leasing. Arval offers its customers – large international corporates, SMEs and professionals – tailored solutions that optimise their employees’ mobility and outsource the risks associated with fleet management. Expert advice and service quality, which are the foundations of Arval’s customer promise, are delivered in 29 countries by over 6,400 employees. Arval’s total leased fleet adds up to 1,028,142 vehicles throughout the world (December 2016). Arval is a founding member of the Element-Arval Global Alliance, the longest standing strategic alliance in the fleet management industry and the worldwide leader with 3 million vehicles in 50 countries. Within BNP Paribas, Arval belongs to the Retail Banking core activity. Further information: