Dutch Banks and Telcos Consider NFC Mobile-Payment Launch

Jul 8 2010

Three major Dutch banks and three mobile operators are considering a coordinated rollout of NFC-based mobile payment in the Netherlands, NFC Times has learned.

The banks: Rabobank, ING and ABN Amro; and telcos, believed to be: KPN, Vodafone Netherlands and (UPDATE): T-Mobile Netherlands; are considering offering customers contactless payment, loaded onto SIM cards in NFC phones. The payment applications would support either MasterCard PayPass or Visa payWave. UPDATE: Rabobank's small mobile virtual network operator, Rabo Mobiel, earlier reported as part of the group, will probably join later, said sources. END UPDATE.

The three banks and three telcos, dubbed the “Six Pack” by those involved in the project, have been secretly meeting for months discussing a possible commercial launch, NFC Times has learned. They extended an earlier deadline for a decision that expired around April. A decision was scheduled for this week on whether to go forward with the plans, NFC Times has learned. Telcos and banks contacted by NFC Times declined to comment.

NFC Times has learned the initiative is generally being led by KPN, Rabobank, along with ING–all of which have held NFC trials in recent years. ABN Amro, Vodafone Netherlands and T-Mobile Netherlands are believed to be largely following.

If they move forward, the parties would likely set up a national trusted service manager, or TSM, to download and manage the payment applications on the SIM cards or other secure elements in phones. The group would likely need to hire a TSM technology provider to handle the over-the-air management. The telcos might also jointly source handsets.

But it was not clear when the project would launch and which NFC phones they would use, though more models are expected on the market by the first part of next year. If the parties wanted to launch sooner, they could get started with bridge technologies.

Nevertheless, it appears likely a launch would not happen until next year. For one thing, there are few contactless point-of-sale terminals deployed in the Netherlands. However, the country is rolling out EMV terminals that could be more easily upgraded than the older terminals.

If it goes forward, the project is perhaps most significant because it’s one of the few coming to light in which multiple telcos and banks would be working together on mobile payment. A green light for the project would probably mean the parties have agreed on a business model for sharing revenue.

While telcos and banks in France have taken a coordinated approach to NFC mobile-payment standards and procedures and are jointly launching a small commercial project in the city of Nice, they have had difficulty working out long-term business models. In the United States, banks and telcos appear to be even further apart, and are planning separate mobile-payment services.

A national TSM, if the Dutch banks and telcos form one, would also be one of the few such organizations set up anywhere.

In France, banks and telcos are free to hire their own TSMs, and there have already been some interoperability problems in Nice. The one national TSM now operating is Japan's FeliCa Networks, mainly owned by Sony Corp. and NTT DoCoMo. While interoperability of applications on Japan's NFC-like contactless wallet phones is not an issue, FeliCa Networks reportedly charges high fees. There are plans for a national TSM in Singapore, set up through the government. 

The Dutch banks and telcos that have held NFC trials have mostly done so separately, although Rabobank, Rabo Mobiel and KPN were all involved in a mobile-payment trial launched in 2007 at an outlet of Dutch supermarket chain C1000. A separate application enabled the 100 users in the trial to receive digital bottle deposit refunds.  

HEADLINE NEWS

UK Public Transit Officials in Midlands Seek to Replicate London’s Success in Pay-as-You-Go Contactless

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Transit officials in the Midlands in the UK today are calling on the government to fund a London-style contactless fare-payments system across this large section of the country, which would enable riders to tap to pay for trips on rail, bus and tram networks with either closed- and open-loop cards and credentials on smartphones.  

Post-Lockdown, Transit Riders Want Agencies to Run Vehicles More Frequently, Provide Real-Time Arrival Information and Offer Contactless and Mobile Payments

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight - Up to a third of transit riders in several cities say contactless payments and mobile ticketing would encourage them to return t

New York’s OMNY Project Completes Major Milestone, as Transit Officials Point to Steady Growth in Adoption

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority says it is seeing steady growth in use of its OMNY open-loop fare payments system by customers–though overall open-loop payments remain small–as the agency continues its phased rollout of acceptance of contactless EMV bank cards and NFC Pays wallets. 

In-Depth: Trip-Planning Giant Moovit Begins to Enable Ticketing and Payments, as Rivals Make Similar Moves

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Moovit, which bills itself as the world's largest “urban mobility app,” has begun to enable public transit ticketing and payments from its platform, as it seeks to deliver what it says is a true mobility-as-a-service experience for users.

Los Angeles Transit Authority Follows Through with Plans to Enable TAP Card for Apple Pay; Google Pay to Follow

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Another major U.S. transit agency has introduced a virtual closed-loop card for Apple Pay this week, with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, or Metro, announcing the move Thursday. It comes a couple of days after the Washington (D.C.) Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, or WMATA, announced it had put its SmarTrip closed-loop card on Apple’s NFC-enabled devices, as well.

Apple Enables Virtual SmarTrip Fare Card for Apple Pay in Washington, D.C., with More Closed-Loop Transit Cards Expected This Year in U.S.

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Apple added support for its latest closed-loop transit card for Apple Pay, enabling customers of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, or WMATA, to tap their NFC-enabled iPhones and Apple Watches to pay for rides with WMATA’s SmarTrip virtual card.

Insight: Apple’s Long Game Pays Off, Conquering Resistance to Apple Pay from Banks in Europe and Beyond

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – It’s coming up on six years since Apple announced its groundbreaking digital-payments service, Apple Pay. And while consumer adoption remains a work in progress, Apple has had considerable success gaining participation from banks and other issuers in what is now more than 50 countries worldwide.

Transit Agency in Canada Plans to Launch Mobile Ticketing, Citing Covid Fears

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Another transit agency in Canada has announced it will enable mobile ticketing, along with reloadable contactless cards, citing in part the Covid-19 pandemic and the desire to reduce the use of cash, vending machines and customer interaction with agency staff.

Biggest U.S. Supermarket Chain Trials Contactless as Covid-19 Fears Increase Demand for ‘No-Touch Payments’

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – The announcement by The Kroger Co., the largest supermarket chain in the U.S., that it has begun trialing contactless payments in a subsidiary indicates that one of the last major holdouts among big U.S. merchants will eventually accept such NFC payments services as Apple Pay and Google Pay, as well as contactless bank cards.

Southern California Transit Agency to Sell Tickets Via Google Maps and Google Pay; Others Expected to Follow

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – There’s more evidence that popular trip-planning apps Transit, Moovit and Google Maps are seeking to expand further into mobile ticketin

Insight: Apple Buys Mobile-POS Firm as It Seeks to Expand Acceptance of Contactless Payments

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – In a move seeking to expand the base of merchants that can accept its payments service, Apple Pay, Apple has reportedly acquired Montreal, Canada-based mobile POS company Mobeewave, which could enable small shop owners, restaurants and street vendors, among others, to more easily accept contactless EMV cards and NFC mobile wallets.

Exclusive: Google Tests Mobile Ticketing Initiated in Maps App; Could Lead to Mobility-as-a-Service Offer?

Jul 23 2020

NFC TIMES Exclusive – Three small public transit agencies in the U.S. are quietly testing use of Google Maps and Google Pay to enable customers to first plan then pay for tickets. It’s believed to be the first pilots of its kind for Google, a move that could mean the search giant plans to compete with such popular trip-planning apps as Transit and Moovit, which are starting to enable public transit ticketing and payments, NFC Times reports.