buy metformin online

A1

Headquarters: 
Austria

Austria’s largest mobile operator is also a European pioneer in mobile commerce.

A1, formerly known as mobilkom Austria, was one of the first telcos anywhere to start its own financial institution, A1 Bank, in 2002.

The banking license enables subscribers to pay parking fares, transit tickets and make Internet purchases on computers using their mobile phones and mainly SMS. The charges usually appear on subscribers’ phone bills.

A1, part of the Telekom Austria Group, began enabling subscribers to buy SMS-based transit tickets with their mobile phones in 1999, even before starting the bank. And in 2001, it launched an Austrian branch of German-based mobile payment platform Paybox, which later allowed for interoperable mobile-payment services with other Austrian mobile operators.

In September 2007, mobilkom introduced phones that support NFC, which reduces the steps necessary for subscribers to buy the SMS tickets on Austria’s national railway and Vienna’s metro. It also enables subscribers to tap to buy snacks in vending machines and use other network-based commerce more quickly. The telco even created its own NFC target mark for the services.

The telco heralded the move as the first “rollout” of NFC services and said the ease of use NFC offers has increased m-commerce transactions. But the telco could only offer one handset, the Nokia 6131, to the public. It later added the 3G Nokia 6212 in early 2009. All told, it said it had sold about 40,000 of the NFC phones as of fall 2009, although it probably would have sold as many of these handset models in the non-NFC version.

A1 also launched a small trial putting transit ticketing on the embedded secure chip in the 6212, enabling Austrian national railway conductors to tap the phones to verify the tickets. That was not possible with the SMS-ticketing and enables mobilkom to allow subscribers to download higher-value tickets.

The telco plans to put the ticketing application on SIM cards it issues after NFC phones are available supporting the application. It will also likely put a credit card application on the SIMs, once contactless point-of-sale terminals are available in Austria.

A1 launched a conventional Visa-branded credit card in September 2009, which it later plans to make contactless. It could also move this contactless application to NFC phones.

And in April 2012, A1 announced it planned to roll out its own NFC payment brand, paybox NFC, an effort to expand its paybox online and mobile-parking payment scheme to the physical point of sale. It will face an uphill battle trying to establish the scheme.

Key figures: 
Customer Base 2009
2008 Change*
Subscribers 4.6 4.3 3.4%
Mobile, in millions, for June of year indicated *For unrounded figures
Key NFC Personnel: 
Christoph Kössler, senior product manager and project lead for paybox NFC
Major NFC and Contactless competitors: 

T-Mobile Austria, Orange

Last Updated: 
Apr 2012
Author: 
Balaban

HEADLINE NEWS

Giesecke & Devrient Reports Falling Sales, Lower Profits for 2013

Germany-based Giesecke & Devrient was no doubt glad to close the books on 2013, a year in which it saw substantial job cuts and changes in management and–as it reported Wednesday–lower sales and profitability.

Inside Secure Acquires Security Vendor Metaforic with Eye Toward Host-Card Emulation Market

France-based Inside Secure has acquired encryption and software security company Metaforic in a cash deal worth at least $11.6 million, which Inside Secure says will help equip it to offer security services for host-card emulation-based mobile payments.

Financial Review: Publicly Traded NFC Vendors Show Mixed Results for 2013

NFC Times Exclusive: All publicly traded vendors across the NFC ecosystem have filed their year-end earnings reports, and the results show a mixed bag of promising sales for contactless and EMV technology, continued restructuring and expected challenges ahead with the advent of host-card emulation.

China Telecom Chooses NFC SIM Vendors for Large Planned Procurement

Apr 18 2014 (All day)

China’s No. 3 mobile operator, China Telecom, has selected a list of six SIM vendors for its large planned rollout of NFC services.

Intel Buys Inside Secure’s NFC Modem Technology; Expands License of Inside's NFC Patents

Apr 2 2014 (All day)

Inside Secure is selling its next generation NFC controller technology to chip maker Intel, as well as an expanded license, for $19.2 million, though will keep most of its NFC patents and embedded chip technology.

Big French Bank Announces Nationwide Rollout of NFC-Payments Service on SIMs

Apr 4 2014 (All day)

BNP Paribas, one of France’s largest banks, today announced its long-anticipated nationwide rollout of NFC payments, making Visa-branded debit cards available to customers on SIM cards issued by France’s two largest mobile operators and a couple of smaller brands.

OTI Lowers Losses as It Continues Turnaround Efforts but Offers No Time Frame for Turning a Profit

In the first full year since a takeover ousted former CEO and co-founder Oded Bashan, Israel-based NFC and contactless company On Track Innovations showed some progress in its efforts to turn around the chronically unprofitable company, in part by focusing on sales of contactless point-of-sale terminals.

Australia’s Westpac to Launch First Project with Visa on Samsung Embedded Chips; HCE Gears Up in Market

A second of Australia’s big four banks, Westpac Banking Corp., said it will finally be ready to launch its long-planned NFC contactless payments service with Visa using embedded chips in Samsung phones by the end of April, the bank told NFC Times.

NFC SIM Volumes Projected to Show Moderate Growth in 2014, Though Impact of HCE Remains Unknown

NFC Times Exclusive: Mobile network operators will take delivery of at least two-thirds more NFC SIMs this year than in 2013, predicts operator trade association, the GSMA, though the impact of host-card emulation remains to be seen.

Identive Narrows Losses; Reports More Restructuring

U.S.-based Identive reported significant restructuring and job cuts in the fourth quarter, along with increased sales for NFC and other RFID tags–but still no profit.

NFC Forum Issues Statement Supporting HCE as Means to 'Accelerate' Market Growth

The NFC Forum has issued a statement of support for host-card emulation at its all-member meeting this week in San Francisco, calling HCE a “promising addition to the portfolio of NFC solutions that could potentially accelerate market growth.”

Tenders Due for TSM Platform Planned by Taiwanese Banking Joint Venture

NFC Times Exclusive: Tenders are due tomorrow from vendors in response to a request for proposal for Taiwan’s second planned centralized trusted service management platform–this one from Taiwanese banking groups, which formed a mobile-payments joint venture late last month.