Telefónica Launches NFC Wallet in Germany
Perhaps the biggest news is that, through the release of O2 Wallet, Telefónica is testing NFC payments. Users with NFC-enabled devices can order a NFC SIM card, enabling them to make contactless payments in participating retailers using the PayPass system. The mobile wallet, which will initially be launching as a test, is PIN-protected.
The mPass Geld senden service enables users to transfer money between mPass account to another in real time, using just the recipient's phone number – similar to how Barclays' Pingit works in the UK.
Both solutions will launch by mid-February, according to Telefónica, with additional apps and functionality promised through the rest of 2012, including vouchers, loyalty schemes, and payment cards. The first bank will be joining the scheme shortly, allowing for the integration of a digitalised credit card.
The telco says the launches are part of its strategy to expand its financial ecosystem, and to invest in future growth markets.
“Soon, children will only know from history books what a wallet and hard cash are”, said René Schuster, CEO of Telefónica Deutschland. “Mobile payment with your smartphone has arrived in Germany. Our customers will soon be transferring money mobile-to-mobile and paying in shops using their digital wallet.”
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