French Make it Official With Nice NFC Launch

May 27 2010

Organizers of France’s “precommercial” launch of Near Field Communication services in Nice have made it official, kicking off what they say is the first project of its kind in Europe and a “rehearsal” for a national rollout of NFC next year in France.

The government-backed Nice project, which involves four mobile operators, at least two banks and the city’s transit operator, will enable subscribers to tap their phones to pay fares for buses and trams, make purchases in some stores and tap smart posters for updated transit schedules and tourist information. NFC-based student services at the nearby University of Nice Sophia Antipolis will also be available.

The four mobile operators, Orange-France, SFR, Bouygues Telecom and NRJ Mobile, will put around 4,000 NFC phones on sale to subscribers in Nice initially. The phones will be the NFC version of the popular, though sub-3G, touch-screen phone, the Samsung (S5230) Player One. The phone, nicknamed the Player One “cityzi” for this project, will store secure applications in SIM cards the telcos issue with a standard connection to NFC chips in the phones. Cityzi is the brand and acceptance mark organizers have chosen for NFC in France.

Organizers, which officially launched the project Friday, see it as a prelude to a national rollout, which could begin in the Paris region, where transit authority STIF has committed to rolling out NFC-based transit ticketing in 2011.

But in announcing the Nice launch, French mobile operator group Association Française du Sans Contact Mobile, or AFSCM, has volunteered a projection that only about 500,000 subscribers could be equipped with NFC cityzi phones by the end of 2011.

Besides paying bus and tram fares, subscribers will be able to buy transit tickets over the air, including making purchases of up to 10 euros (US$12.40) directly from their operators, which will put the charges on the subscribers’ phone bills.

Retail payment is also part of the launch, although merchant acceptance is limited for now and only two banks have publicized plans for participation so far. Others are expected to follow later in the year.

One of those two banks is BNP Paribas, which announced Friday it would be issuing 5,000 contactless EMV cards to customers in Nice and will also make its “KIX” mobile-payment application available. The cards and phone payment service will support the Visa payWave contactless application.

For the phone application, customers must enter a “private code” on their handset keypads before completing a purchase. But for purchases below 20 euros, they could choose not to enter the PIN, the bank noted.

BNP is referring to both the contactless cards and NFC phone application as “trial offers,” not precommercial launches, involving 43 of its branches in and around Nice. It will begin to promote the project in June.

Customers with NFC phones will need to activate the payment applications preloaded on their SIM cards in bank branches, according to an announcement Friday by France-based Gemalto, which confirmed it is serving as trusted service manager, or TSM, for Crédit Mutuel-CIC bank. The bank is an owner of NRJ Mobile, which is a mobile virtual network operator.

Unlike with BNP Paribas, customers of Crédit Mutuel-CIC will be able to buy the NFC phones in their bank branches, not only in mobile shops, according to the Gemalto release.

Gemalto also announced Friday it will serve as TSM for operator Orange France. TSMs generally download and manage applications over the air to NFC phones.

UPDATE: France-based Oberthur Technologies is serving as TSM for BNP Paribas, according to sources, as well as for telcos SFR and Bouygues. (EDITOR'S NOTE: The story earlier indicated that Gemalto and Oberthur were both serving as TSM for Crédit Mutuel-CIC. The story should have stated Gemalto is serving as TSM for Crédit Mutuel and Oberthur for BNP Paribas. See project page.)   

Article comments

 
Yves May 25 2010

Dan, who is providing TSM services for Crédit Mutuel, Gemalto or Oberthur ?

Dan Balaban's picture
Dan Balaban May 27 2010

Yves,
Gemalto is serving as TSM for Crédit Mutuel. The story should have read that Oberthur is serving as TSM for BNP Paribas, according to sources. Thanks for the question to clear up this point.

 
VAS2010 Jun 1 2010

Nice news)
Dan, will you show us statistic later?

Please register or login to post a comment.

HEADLINE NEWS

OTI Gets Favorable Ruling in NFC Patent Infringement Case; Reports Continued Losses for 2014

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – A U.S. district court judge has ruled that T-Mobile USA infringed an NFC patent held by Israel-based On Track Innovations.

Gemalto Claims 25% of U.S. EMV Market; Seeks to Take Spotlight Off SIM

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – France-based Gemalto, which is keen to take the spotlight off its SIM business, projects EMV cards to represent perhaps the largest expected source of revenue growth in the coming year.

Square Acquires Payment Processing Tech Vendor Kili; May be Planning NFC mPOS, but Will it Keep DeviceFidelity?

Mar 13 2015

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – UPDATED: Mobile point-of-sale device supplier Square has acquired payment processing component vendor Kili Technology, the same vendor that purchased NFC accessory vendor DeviceFidelity in November, but Square does not plan to keep DeviceFidelity, a source connected with Square told NFC Times.

Samsung Pay Unpacked: Details on Samsung’s Planned Business Model, Architecture and Unannounced Banks Revealed

NFC Times Exclusive – NFC Times has learned new details about how Samsung intends to make money from its planned payments service, Samsung Pay; as well as the technology architecture the OEM will use and the identity of two unannounced banks, along with a new category of issuer that is planning to participate.

Analysis: Gemalto Abandons Hard-Line Stance on NFC in Embracing Tokenization, Supporting HCE

NFC Times Exclusive – The public relations debacle Gemalto faced following revelations last month that U.S. and UK spy agencies had stolen keys from its SIM cards is not the only problem the France-based vendor has had to deal with regarding SIMs.

People on the Move: MasterCard Makes Executive Changes to Mobile Team

NFC Times Exclusive – MasterCard Worldwide has named James Anderson group executive for platforms, a key position inside the payment network, which is seeking to secure its role in the ecosystem as mobile payments start to gather steam, NFC Times has learned.

Commonwealth Bank Launching HCE; Other Australian Banks Expected to Follow

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – One of Australia’s largest banks, Commonwealth Bank, is launching NFC payments from its mobile-banking app using host-card emulation, having earlier tried embedded secure elements, contactless stickers and iPhone attachments.

Android Pay Expected to Support HCE, Targeted to Encourage More Third-Party Payments Apps

NFC Times Exclusive Insight ­– Google’s recently announced API for NFC payments applications, Android Pay, is expected to support apps using host card emulation, or HCE, but also likely will support storage of keys on hardware.

Apple Releases Launch Date, More Details for Smartwatch; Set to Become Premier Payments Wearable

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Apple’s new wearable, Apple Watch, will support Apple Pay as well as mobile keys for hotel rooms, the company announced Monday.

Galaxy S6 to Carry Embedded Secure Element; Samsung Splits NFC Controller Contract

Mar 2 2015

BARCELONA, Spain – NFC Times Exclusive (UPDATED): The Galaxy S6 will carry an embedded secure element, mainly to enable nonpayment applications, while supporting NFC payments with host-card emulation and storing payment tokens in a secure area on the processor, an ARM-based TrustZone, a representative of Samsung told NFC Times. The embedded secure element also could be used to store tokens outside of the U.S. 

Samsung to Launch Apple Pay Rival in Summer Using Proprietary Technology and NFC

Mar 2 2015

BARCELONA, Spain – NFC Times Exclusive Insight: Samsung Electronics has unveiled its Apple Pay rival, which it calls Samsung Pay, a mobile-payments service that, as expected, supports technology from Samsung’s recent acquisition of LoopPay combined with NFC. 

MasterCard, Visa Tout Host-Card Emulation Projects, as Buzz Returns to HCE

Mar 1 2015

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Following a lull in attention on host-card emulation with the announcement and launch of Apple Pay in the latter half of last year, the buzz appears to be back on HCE, and among the latest organizations promoting it is MasterCard Worldwide.