Telefónica Announces Trusted Service Manager Contract
Spain-based Telefónica said it has chosen Germany-based Giesecke & Devrient as its trusted service manager as it gears up to introduce NFC services in Europe “over the next few months.”
It’s not clear, however, where Telefónica plans to launch, though it has active NFC planning going on in Spain and at its O2 operators in the United Kingdom, Germany and the Czech Republic. Telefónica said it would introduce the services through its own mobile-wallet application.
Any early 2012 launches of NFC, especially if they involved payment, would be small, since there would still be relatively few NFC-enabled phones available and almost no contactless point-of-sale terminals, except in the United Kingdom and in pockets in Spain, such as on the Balearic Islands. And O2 UK has delayed the NFC portion of its launch, through its own O2 Wallet.
It’s the first major trusted service management contract announced by Giesecke & Devrient and follows an embarrassing loss for the company on its home soil of the Deutsche Telekom group TSM contract for Europe, which went to France-based Gemalto.
Telefónica also said G&D would supply some NFC-enabled SIM cards. G&D has supplied NFC-SIMs for Telefónica trials in Spain and likely for a trial held earlier this year in the Czech Republic. G&D also served as TSM for a portion of the popular O2 Wallet trial in the United Kingdom, which launched in late 2007. G&D’s TSM business was called Venyon then.
G&D would manage the secure elements for Telefónica, which would be SIM cards the telco issues. That would include download and personalization of applications onto the SIMs and communicating with service providers, such as banks, which could have their own TSMs.
Telefónica, in its announcement today, said it has been “working hard on NFC technology” in recent years, including holding trials of mobile payment in the town of Sitges, outside of Barcelona last year with La Caixa bank and Visa Europe, and a transit trial in Pilsen, in the Czech Republic, along with payment and access control for employees at its headquarters in Madrid.
“Now is the right time to plan a wide deployment of NFC services,” the telco said in an announcement today, adding that “financial services is a key focus area for Telefónica.”