Norwegian Bank and Telco Launch New NFC Trial

Norway’s largest bank, DnB NOR, and its biggest mobile operator, Telenor, have launched a new NFC trial in the capital Oslo, putting a MasterCard PayPass application on SIM cards from the telco.

The trial is believed to be a follow up to a pilot the parties launched in 2009, in which vendors modified a Nokia 6131 NFC phone model to support applications on SIM cards. The trial, however, ran into some problems with communication between the phone and point-of-sale terminals for the participating employees. The bank and telco, along with MasterCard, had planned a second phase in 2010, but cancelled it after Nokia killed its planned standardized SIM-based NFC phone, the 6216.

The new trial will test a service dubbed “Tap2Pay,” involving about 250 consumers. They will use the Samsung S5230 NFC phone, which supports the standard for SIM-based NFC applications, the single-wire protocol. The consumers will be able to tap to pay at a limited number of merchants equipped for the trial in the Majorstua district of Oslo, including Kaffebrenneriet coffee bars, outlets of the Vita cosmetics chain and Deli de Luca Group restaurants.

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