T-Mobile Poland Launches NFC Wallet with Polbank; More Applications Planned
T-Mobile in Poland, as expected, today unveiled its planned NFC commercial service, planning to launch before the end of the month with a credit application issued by Polbank EFG that supports MasterCard PayPass.
The announcement today follows one Monday by Orange Poland of its own NFC payments service, with a prepaid mobile payment card, Orange Cash, issued by BRE Bank.
Orange beat T-Mobile with the announcement but T-Mobile appears intent on actually launching its NFC service first. According to an announcement by Polbank, the T-Mobile launch will happen Oct. 29, two days ahead of Orange Poland’s planned Nov. 1 start.
Orange is expected to have more NFC phones available for its project. An Orange Poland spokesperson confirmed to NFC Times that nine smartphones would be available supporting applications on NFC SIMs, including the Galaxy S III, HTC One X, Nokia 808 Pure View, two BlackBerry models and three Sony Xperia phones. A report said T-Mobile would have three phones enabled at launch, the Galaxy S III and two Nokia models, though T-Mobile was not available to confirm that.
Both launches put the PayPass applications on the telcos’ SIM cards. Both telcos hope to make use of the high penetration of point-of-sale terminals supporting contactless payment–estimated at nearly 90,000 nationwide, almost a third of total bank card acceptance points in the country, according to MasterCard Worldwide.
Polbank will offer incentives to consumers to encourage them to sign up for the service, including rebates on PayPass transactions. The bank in late 2009 launched PayPass-enabled contactless stickers.
UPDATE: More banks are expected to join the T-Mobile and Orange Poland projects, and BRE Bank has already confirmed to NFC Times it plans to offer payment on the T-Mobile SIMs in addition to working with Orange. Millennium bank also has expressed interest, as well as Citibank and Getin Bank in the T-Mobile Poland wallet. They will issue credit and debit applications. END UPDATE.
Unlike the PayPass application on the Orange SIM, which is preloaded, Polbank’s PayPass credit application will be downloaded and provisioned over the air.
According to Thian Yee Chua, CEO of Morpho-Cassis, the trusted service manager for MasterCard’s MOTAPS provisioning service, the system in Poland is designed to enable other banks to quickly join the T-Mobile project.
“This is likely the first NFC project that we took the 'cookie cutter' approach to provide end-to-end minimum requirements for the issuer to enable NFC service,” he told NFC Times in a statement. “The goal is to relieve issuers from all the technical details, minimize implementation risks and shorten time to market.”
The system uses common specifications and guidelines for formatting and provisioning the applications and data. That’s helped in Poland because Trevica, a processor and service aggregator owned by MasterCard, will set up all of the applications and data for the various banks planning to put PayPass on the T-Mobile Poland SIMs. But the system could work elsewhere, Chua said.
Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile Poland’s parent, chose MasterCard to help it launch payment applications for its European group operators. That includes Deutsche Telekom’s flagship operator in Germany, which plans to launch NFC service–and issue its own PayPass application–in 2013.
The NFC payment provisioning system in Poland would connect with the TSM managing T-Mobiles SIM cards, France-based Gemalto. Gemalto is serving as TSM for the Deutsche Telekom group.
T-Mobile in Poland also plans to add at least one transit ticketing application and other services, including retail loyalty and couponing, according to Laurent Renard, CEO of Taiwan-based Toro.
Toro is providing the mobile wallet software and platform for T-Mobile in Poland, the first commercial project for Toro’s akami suite. The telco plans to open up the wallet to third-party developers, Renard told NFC Times. T-Mobile is reportedly branding its mobile wallet MyWallet in Poland.
“It's a nationwide, very scalable project,” Renard said. “It’s meant to be big. Anyone who wants to use the SDK (software development kit) can use the SDK. That’s the plan. It’s really open.”