French Cities Trial microSD NFC

Visa Europe and two major French banks are set to carry out a trial of NFC in two cities. 

Nice and Strasbourg will see trial an NFC solution in Autumn. Banque Populaire and Credit Agricole will trial the technology by giving 500 customers the opportunity to pay for goods with their smartphones, thanks to a microSD card from DeviceFidelity. 

The selected customers will trial a mobile contactless payment application. The Visa NFC application will give users bank account management, allowing them to follow their expenses and check their balance. 

Research and analysis firm Frost & Sullivan says that the total payment value for NFC will reach €111.19bn (around £100bn) worldwide by 2015.

However, the analyst company says it sees several issues with the method employed by Visa in this instance, due to the impact on customer experience when it comes to setting the service up. Customers will need to request an SD card, potentially at extra cost, and iPhone users will require an add-on, since there is no SD card support on the device. 

“However, from a business standpoint, microSD cards make a lot of sense for banks and financial institutions, as they can avoid sharing revenue with mobile operators by using an external secure element,” says Frost & Sullivan in a news release. 

“Frost & Sullivan considers that until NFC-enabled handset mobile will be available massively, the NFC adoption will be very low. Customers need an easy-to-use solution, which means no add-on, no complex installations and no extra costs.”