Czech Republic: Telefónica and GE Money Bank Launch NFC Payments Service with PayPass
Telefónica Czech Republic introduces its O2 Wallet with the launch of NFC services, which includes GE Money Bank, the fourth largest bank in the Czech Republic, and MasterCard Worldwide. The service enables customers of the telco and bank to tap to pay anywhere PayPass is accepted. That includes 15,000 point-of-sale terminals in the Czech Republic, or about 20% of the roughly 70,000 POS terminals in the country. For amounts up to CZK 500 (US$26.47), users don’t have to enter a PIN code. GE Money Bank said it would offer both credit and debit applications to customers who request the service and who are also subscribers of Telefónica and won’t charge extra for the service. The application will be stored on NFC SIM cards issued by Telefónica.
The launch is the first by a Telefónica group operator. It follows trials and a precommercial launched by Telefónica (O2) Czech Republic, the latter held last year, working with Visa Europe. Both MasterCard and Visa are interested in the high penetration of point-of-sale terminals–about 20%–supporting contactless bank payment in the small country. Expect a launch by sister operator, Telefónica (O2) Germany, next month. Telefónica (O2) UK and Telefónica Spain are also gearing up for delayed NFC launches.