Visa and Czech Telco to Launch M-Payments Project using Samsung Galaxy S III
Around 2,000 Czech consumers will be able to tap for purchases with a Visa payWave application stored on their SIM cards, in the latest NFC m-payments project to use the Samsung Galaxy S III.
Visa Europe and mobile operator Telefónica Czech Republic announced the project Thursday, in what they call a “limited” launch of NFC SIM cards preloaded with the Visa contactless application.
The telco plans to launch NFC services commercially in the second quarter of 2013, and the Galaxy S III project is the last step before that launch, Richard Walitza, head of NFC and financial services at Telefónica (O2) Czech Republic told NFC Times. The telco has held at least two earlier NFC trials.
“This is not a trial, but a limited commercial edition–each O2 customer can get this service, not only preselected testers,” Walitza said of the latest project.
The telco is making the mobile-payments service available starting Aug. 27 to the first 2,000 owners of the Galaxy S III who ask to exchange their conventional SIMs with NFC SIMs. The latter will come preloaded with a Visa payWave application issued by Komerční bank.
Users will get 250 Czech crowns (US$12.58) of free value from the bank. They could then link the mobile-payment account, called KB MobilKarta, with existing Komerční bank accounts or open a new account with the bank. Walitza described the payWave account on the SIM as a debit application. The
UPDATE: The bank also describes the new project as a limited edition “commercial launch.” While the bank has trialed NFC and also is trying out an NFC-enabled add-on to the iPhone, it still needs to measure customer interest, Petr Polák, head of means of payment at Komerční banka told NFC Times in a statement through a spokeswoman.
“The clients’ interest will indicate the speed at which the new form of payment is being adopted as well as the need, if any, for additional investments in processes and technologies,” he said. END UPDATE.
There are about 6,000 contactless point-of-sale terminals at retail locations in the Czech Republic, at present, said Walitza. That is out of about 75,000 total POS terminals in the country. He predicted the number of contactless acceptance points will grow to more than 10,000 by the end of the year.
Telefónica plans to commercially launch NFC with around three banks in the second quarter of 2013, Walitza said. The banks will be able to support either Visa payWave or MasterCard PayPass applications, he said.
In addition, the Mopet CZ joint venture–formed by Telefónica and the Czech Republic’s two other major mobile operators, T-Mobile and Vodafone, along with Czech banks–also plans to launch an NFC service at the physical point of sale next year, Walitza said. The joint venture’s Mobito service is now only designed to enable consumers to conduct online purchases and funds transfers with mobile phones.
Mobile operators and service providers are beginning to roll out NFC payment on the Galaxy S III, including telcos in the United States, Singapore, France and New Zealand. Visa Europe used the handset model as its Olympics Phone during the recent games in London to demonstrate NFC payments.