Belgium: Belgacom Tests Contactless ‘PingPing’ Stickers for Meal Tickets
Belgium’s largest telecom company held the trials among about 500 of its own employees and more from other companies as part of an effort to build its PingPing mobile-payment brand. The users affixed contactless PingPing stickers to the back of their mobile phones or other devices linked over the network to an electronic version of paper meal vouchers supplied by Accord Services. The trials also called for enabling users to tap on contactless readers at at least one supermarket outlet and on Coke vending machines. They use a PingPing account, which they fund with their bank accounts. Customers of Belgacom’s mobile operator, Proximus, can pay with PingPing directly on their phone bills, said reports. Belgacom has also apparently brought its well-established mobile-parking scheme and other SMS-based m-commerce under the PingPing brand.
Belgacom has formed a partnership with Belgian-American Alcatel-Lucent Ventures and the latter’s touchatag’s contactless service. The companies in June 2009 said they want to combine PingPing’s m-payment system with touchatag’s interactive advertising, loyalty and coupon services. The pair would work together to create an “open model” for third-party developers to create contactless applications. Of course, those applications would presumably use the Belgacom or touchatag platforms. Alcatel-Lucent Ventures with touchatag offers its own contactless stickers, which employees tested with Accord meal e-vouchers in 2008.
* Trusted Service Manager: Defined loosely to include companies or other organizations securely distributing, provisioning and managing applications, generally over the air, on secure elements in NFC mobile phones; or licensing their platforms for this purpose.
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