Netherlands: Payter Shutting Down Service Following Large Trial


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Countinue Reading


Aug 2007
Main Application: 
Mobile Operator: 
Service Provider (application): 
Payter (prepaid account for retail payments, loyalty and parking)
More than 1,400
NFC Handsets: 
Nokia 6131
Cassis International
Secure Element: 
Other Vendors: 
Skidata (parking access system), Q-Park (parking service provider), NXP Semiconductors (NFC phone chip, secure element)

The largest NFC trial in Europe based on number of handsets, privately held Payter BV had big plans for the technology in 2008 and 2009. It had hoped to roll out multiapplication NFC service to six major Dutch cites by the end of 2009, with 8,500 point-of-sale terminals and 100,000 to 150,000 consumers. Instead, the company announced it will be shutting the project down by Dec. 1, 2009. While the money lasted, Payter did fund and conduct a large pilot in its home base of Rotterdam starting in 2007. It paid for the large infrastructure for the trial, including about 1,400 Nokia 6131 phones for users. Consumers could create prepaid accounts on Payter’s server, funded via their bank accounts, then pay at roughly 100 merchant locations equipped with Payter readers by the end of the trial in 2008. Users could also tap the phones to enter and exit parking garages, to touch smart posters, which automatically opened a mobile connection to order pizzas or taxis or download coupons or other promotional information.

NFC Times Take: 

Payter says the financial crisis that hit in the fall of 2008 made its backers skittish, so the company put the plans for the six-city rollout on hold. It announced it was shutting down the operation Dec. 1, 2009. Payter and its financial backers do deserve credit for their ambitious plans and intention not to wait for the rest of the NFC ecosystem to get around to rollouts. But building a closed-loop prepaid scheme from scratch was never going to be easy. And while Payter says it would have eventually supported open-loop payment, rolling out the new infrastructure of phones, terminals and smart posters would be daunting. Besides, there were not enough NFC phones for a rollout, even when the company had seriously contemplated such a move.


Surveys the company commissioned after the pilot showed more than 54% of respondents said they were satisfied with the service, with another 21% responding they were very happy. Only 15% said they were disappointed and 5% said they were dissatisfied.



* 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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