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Gemalto, Nokia align for NFC payments

Gemalto said that its offerings, along with its Trusted Services Management platform, will contribute to boosting commercial rollout of SIM-based mobile contactless services. The announcement came from Gemalto at the Cartes & IDentification 2009 exhibition in Paris.

“Gemalto’s strategy for NFC is to provide products and services that fit the needs of the various markets around the world, for operators and service providers alike,” said Dallas-based Jean-Louis Carrara, vice president of business development and telecommunications at Gemalto North America. “By working with Nokia, we are demonstrating interoperability between the largest phone manufacturer and the leading provider of SIM/UICC cards.

“The collaboration between Gemalto and Nokia illustrates joint alignment between the two companies to enable a successful NFC ecosystem building on the standardization work completed within ETSI and the NFC Forum, with products certifiable by the payment industry and services under the control of operators,” he said.

Gemalto is a worldwide provider of digital security services.

Gemalto sees the future of mobile payments
SNCF, an operator of rail services for passengers and freight trains in France, and Gemalto also presented a new service that lets travelers buy and recharge transport tickets using a contactless mobile phone which incorporates NFC technology at Cartes & IDentification 2009.

Gemalto also announced that it has secured a two-year exclusive agreement to supply Virgin Media with (U)SIM cards and its LinqUs device management services. Virgin Media is Europe’s largest mobile virtual network operator.

The Gemalto cards will let Virgin Media’s mobile customers access a wide range of value-added services.

Cartes & IDentification 2009 is a digital security and smart technologies event that was held in Paris Nov. 17-19.

In regards to the NFC and Nokia alignment, Mr. Carrara said that the NFC market is now starting to materialize.

“It is a challenging market as it requires multiple players to agree on service architecture and business models,” Mr. Carrara said. “This alignment demonstrates that the products are ready, supporting mature standards, and available for commercial release by operators and service providers. 

“Key to the development of the NFC market is to have multiple phones vendors, multiple SIM/UICC vendors, and multiple operators supporting the standards,” he said. “By showing endorsement by the two largest providers of phones and SIM/UICC, we are demonstrating that interoperability from all vendors can be expected and is quickly achievable.”

Mr. Carrara said that NFC services are not targeted at any specific demographics, just consumers who are currently using the contactless services.

In most countries, contactless cuts across demographics because of its use in mass transit services to speed up the passages through toll gates in large cities like Seoul, Paris, London or Atlanta.

Mr. Carrara said that Gemalto believes that NFC will be an important part of mobile commerce.

“NFC will be combined with remote card account management and peer-to-peer payment services into comprehensive commerce-on-the-go solutions,” Mr. Carrara said. “Gemalto is actively proposing and building such solutions already thanks to our Mobile Financial Services practice.”