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Payment Cards with Contactless Technology to Be Introduced in Near Future

March 20, 2012 - London

Press release, 20 March 2012

This year, OP-Pohjola Group will introduce payment cards utilising contactless technology, making it possible to pay for small purchases without entering the PIN. Payment will be made by holding the card a maximum of two or three centimetres away from the payment terminal.

The objective of contactless payments is to make paying quicker and easier. The benefits will be particularly clear in situations where cardholders make small purchases, prefer paying promptly and feel that entering the PIN would be inconvenient. In Finland, the maximum payment amount will be 25 euros. Any payments in excess of this amount will be made by using the same card in the traditional manner - that is, by inserting the card in the payment terminal and approving the payment by entering the PIN.

OP-Pohjola Group's payment cards utilising contactless technology are currently being tested both in Finland and abroad. Our goal is to have OP-Visa Debit cards with the contactless payment facility available to our customers in autumn 2012. Any OP-Visa Debit cards ordered and renewed after that time will automatically feature the contactless payment facility. According to our plans, the facility will be available in other card types once contactless payments are more widely accepted.

Cards utilising contactless technology will function in Finland and abroad in stores where payment terminals are compatible with contactless payments. Customers will be able to identify these payment terminals from the trademarks Visa payWave and MasterCard paypass.

Chip guarantees payment security - liabilities remain unchanged

From the technological perspective, contactless payments are chip payments, which guarantees payment security. No chip information is known to have been successfully read or copied for criminal purposes so that the card could have been misused. In the event of fraud, liabilities are equivalent to those in chip payments in general.

The cardholder is not held liable for purchases made using a card that has been reported lost or stolen. The cardholder is responsible for reporting the card lost without delay so that the card can be deactivated. In addition, the cardholder is expected to know the location of his or her card, which means that the card should be in the cardholder's possession. As with all other cards, cards with the contactless payment facility are also personal and may not be given to another person to use.

For more information, please contact: Kasimir Hirn, Head of Cards, OP-Pohjola Group, tel. +358 (0)10 252 3047

OP-Pohjola Group is Finland's leading financial services group providing a unique range of banking, investment and insurance services. The Group has the mission of promoting the sustainable prosperity, well-being and security of its owner-members, customers and operating regions through its local presence. Its objective is to offer the best and most versatile package of loyal customer benefits on the market. OP-Pohjola Group consists of some 200 member cooperative banks and the Group's central institution, OP-Pohjola Group Central Cooperative, with its subsidiaries and closely-related companies, the largest of which is the listed company Pohjola Bank plc. With a staff of more than 13,000 OP-Pohjola Group posted consolidated earnings of 518 million euros before tax in 2011 and had total assets of 92 billion euros on 31 December 2011. The group has over four million customers.

This announcement is distributed by Thomson Reuters on behalf of Thomson Reuters clients.

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(ii) they are solely responsible for the content, accuracy and originality of the
information contained therein.

Source: Pohjola Pankki Oyj via Thomson Reuters ONE



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