Case Study – Matica Helps to Provide a New Wave of Visa Contactless Payments For Bank of Cyprus

By | March 16, 2017

Customer: The Bank of Cyprus is the biggest in the country and employs 4,279 staff worldwide, (4,000 in Cyprus). There are 130 branches / business offices; 125 of these operate in Cyprus.

Matica Partner: Mellon (Cyprus) Ltd – one of Matica’s longest serving partners since the company was established.

Business challenge: In a bid to continue leading the country’s market, the Bank of Cyprus wanted to find an innovative way of remaining competitive. By offering customers a convenient, efficient means of making contactless payments on purchases with a sticker (originated by Gemalto) that can be placed on a separate device such as a mobile phone the bank has succeeded (if not exceeded) in its goal.

Solution: S3100 and the S5200G to print adhesive contactless payment cards that affix to mobile phones and other devices and contactless mini tags for wearables such as watches designed for chip integration (central issuance).

The Matica Technologies S3100


The Matica Technologies S5200G

S3500 for all of the credit, debit and pre-payment cards issued by the Bank of Cyprus and now, also printing their wearables and stickers. All are issued in-branch (instant issuance).

The Matica Technologies S3500


Results: The Bank of Cyprus has found a unique way of retaining and recruiting new customers, and introducing the next stage of payment methods with a contactless Visa wearable card, which they have branded ‘Tagpay’. It provides customers with a new way to make purchases quickly and easily, with no need to carry cash or a card.

The Bank of Cyprus’ ‘Tagpay’ stickers are a cost-effective marketing strategy to set them apart from the competition. Since its inception, more than 30,000 cards have been issued. For now, the bank divides the way in which they produce the ‘Tagpay’ stickers between external suppliers and in-house. Externally, the stickers are processed by service bureau, JCC Payment System Limited, with Matica’s S3100 desktop printer and the more industrial S5200G. In-branch, the bank deploys Matica’s newest instant issuance desktop printer, the S3500, to produce stickers and wearables, but also: credit, debit and pre-payment cards. This allows banking staff to immediately place a ready-to-use payment card into the hands of their customers without the expense and risks of not activating and using the card attached to mail /courier distribution.

  • The bank issues Visa certified payment cards to produce the ‘Tagpay’ stickers.
  • Smart ‘Tagpay’ stickers can be affixed to mobile phones or other mobile devices to make fast contactless payments on purchases.
  • ‘Tagpay’ stickers don´t require a PIN for transactions of up to €20 in Cyprus (amount may vary for transactions abroad).
  • Sticker provides cash-free ecosystem replacing small cash transactions.
  • Chips are exactly the same as in conventional contactless payment cards.
  • ‘Tagpay’ stickers and the wearables are EMV compliant.

Feeling the pinch from emerging competition, the Bank of Cyprus decided to exploit Gemalto’s emerging technology in Optelio Contactless Stickers and created their own contactless Visa ‘Tagpay’ sticker to counter the mounting challenges from other (and new) banks and to offer something new. With its broad proposition of Visa cards, the Bank of Cyprus decided to work with Matica’s long-term partner in the region, Mellon Cyprus, and systems integrator Gemalto, (provider of the software solution and contactless stickers). Available in light grey and a dark grey color, the card simply sticks onto any device the consumer deigns fit to use as his/her wallet, the most common being a mobile phone. This allows consumers to quickly present their mobiles to a POS terminal (with contactless technology) to make a fast and secure transaction – both at home and overseas. Used in the same way as a contactless credit, debit or prepaid card, the ‘Tagpay’ card can process purchases under €20 (within Cyprus) and for extra security, a PIN is required for purchases over €20. The ‘Tagpay’ card also collects the Bank of Cyprus’ ‘Antamivi’ reward points at participating merchants with relevant purchases, proving its uses for loyalty cards as well.

A closer look at the technology
All three solutions (S3100, S3500 and S5200G) are capable of producing a broad spectrum of personalized cards (debit, card, pre-payment) as well as ‘Tagpay’ stickers and wearable contactless cards . The contactless interface is exactly the same as those used in debit and credit cards. The primary difference between the S3500 and the S3100 lies in the former’s automation (full), whereas the entry model, S3100, needs human input. The S3500’s hopper can also extend up to seven, allowing even more card personalization. Matica’s S5200G is a standalone industrial desktop system for low to mid-volume issuance programs. All the solutions offer a solid return on investment given their modularity and multifunctioning. The S3100, S3500 and S5200G are also deployed to produce Bank of Cyprus’ contactless Mini-Tag cards for ‘wearables’. This is a product that provides cashless / contactless payments after being integrated into any watch or wearable designed for chip integration (a specific chip slot).

Why did the partner Mellon select the Matica S3100 and S5200G for the central issuance aspects of the project?

  • Easily integrated with the Dexxis central issuance solution.
  • Its desktop size allows it to operate within a small space.
  • Cost effective solution for projected volumes.
  • Customer satisfaction with previous models by Matica.

“It was a great opportunity to support the Bank of Cyprus in its successful efforts to innovate and use technology to introduce a unique and useful service to its customers,” said Markos Shiarly, Pre-Sales and Project Manager with Mellon (Cyprus).

“We were very excited to be approached by one of our strongest global partners to be a part of this pioneering lifestyle development in Cyprus. As of today, more than 30,000 cards have been issued,” said Sandro Camilleri, CEO, Matica Technologies Group.

“Our partnership with the Mellon Group has continued to grow since we first collaborated on a project that introduced instant issuance with our very first range of embossing solutions 25 years ago,” said Sandro.

“Working with Mellon Cyprus and Gemalto has been a rewarding partnership and we look forward to further developing this innovative payment solution for other markets. The Mellon Group is a turnkey solution company and we continue to enjoy playing a significant role in supporting their pioneering work,” said Leonidas Koukoutsas, Sales Manager Secure Payments, Matica Technologies.

A closer look at contactless adhesive stickers
Adhesive stickers come in the same shape and form of a normal card, as shown to the side. The entire card is embossed in the same way as a normal contactless card irrespective of the embosser. Once received, the customer breaks off the inner part and on the reverse of the inner part is a film that peels away revealing the actual sticker. This can then be stuck to any device, most commonly a mobile phone.

The card as it looks when it is received from the Gemalto factory.


Inner part that breaks off (front and rear).


Inner part attached to the back of a mobile phone.

Mini Tags also come in the shape of a normal card like the one below. The personalization is the same process as stickers: once personalized, the inner part is broken off and placed inside a wearable wristband.


Mini Tag looks like this when it arrives from the Gemalto factory.

Inner part that breaks off for a Mini Tag


The inner part is then inserted into a slot in the wearable.