Intesa Sanpaolo, Italy’s largest retail bank, plans what appears to be a small commercial launch of NFC payment around the end of the year with an unnamed Italian mobile operator, as well as mobile virtual network operator Nòverca.
Stefania Gentile, head of cards and payments for the top 10 European bank, told NFC Times plans call for the bank to support both MasterCard PayPass and Visa payWave applications, which would be stored on NFC SIM cards. The service would likely launch in and around Milan to start with and use two Samsung Android NFC phones, the Galaxy S III and the Galaxy mini 2.
She declined to name the major Italian operator that would be involved in the launch, though Intesa worked with Telecom Italia, along with Visa Europe, for a recent trial that tested interoperability of a payWave application stored on SIM cards in a Galaxy S III smartphone. The handset, designated by Visa as the “Olympics Phone,” and used in and around London for NFC payments during the games this summer. About 100 Intesa and other internal users participated in the pilot.