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Air Bank Introduces New Service 'Cvak' to Improve Accessibility of Cashless Payments

Translated by Milo Dvorak

25. 1. 2024

Business Newsletter #2

Good morning,

Here is your next Business Newsletter.
We're going to take a look at the latest feature launched by AirBank, further pushing towards cashless transactions. I personally welcome this option, as it is yet another recent AirBank feature that I find compelling enough to consider starting to use their services.

Happy reading!


Published by E15 on 23 January 2024.

On Tuesday, Air Bank unveiled its new payment solution, 'Cvak,' which combines the option of account-to-account payments and payments through a digitised payment card. The new service aims to enhance the accessibility of cashless payments for small businesses, states Michal Strcula, the CEO of Air Bank. The solution is designed to allow other banks to join, with Fio Bank, mBank, and Moneta Money Bank expected to join the project this year. Strcula had previously mentioned the upcoming launch of the Cvak service in an interview with E15 last year.

If a customer has mobile banking from a Cvak supporting bank installed on their phone, the payment is processed through account-to-account transfer. If not, the payment can be made through Google Pay or Apple Pay. Payments are as fast as card payments on a traditional terminal. Through Cvak, customers from all banks can make payments.

For a merchant to accept cashless payments via Cvak, they only need the Cvak mobile application paired with their business bank account. They can continue using their standard business account as usual.

To use the Cvak payment solution for receiving cashless payments, a merchant needs the Cvak mobile application and an NFC card, a plastic card with a chip similar in size to a payment card. The merchant receives this card by mail at no cost. The NFC card serves as a substitute for a traditional terminal, without requiring connection to the electrical network, standalone internet connection, or any technically-demanding installation.

The transaction begins with the merchant entering the desired amount in their Cvak application. The customer then brings their phone close to the NFC card. The amount to be paid and confirmation appear on their phone. Subsequently, the merchant sees in their Cvak application whether the payment was successful. Merchants pay a fee for using the service, set at 0.8% of the transaction. No additional fees apply when Cvak is not in use.

In the Czech Republic, about half of transactions in services and brick-and-mortar stores are still conducted in cash. "This represents a tremendous opportunity for a positive change, which the most innovative banks on the market are currently ready and empowered to launch together," noted Strcula. "Although we observe a significant shift from cash to cashless payments among clients, it is not universally possible. We believe that the Cvak payment solution will help change that," added Paweł Kucharski, the CEO of mBank.

According to Jan Bláha, the director of the business division of Fio Bank, Cvak offers an alternative for cashless payments in places where merchants do not accept payment cards. Tomáš Spurný, the CEO of Moneta, sees this new payment method as an opportunity for a significant shift in the system of accepting cashless payments for small business owners and entrepreneurs. However, he expressed regret that larger banks, especially the major ones, do not seem to seize this opportunity."

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