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Massive worldwide deployment of contactless mobile payments set for 2012

The near field communication ecosystem is finally coming together, setting the stage for the massive worldwide deployment of contactless mobile payments in 2012.

With Isis in the United States and Britain’s first commercial launch of contactless mobile payments this summer via a partnership between Orange, Everything Everywhere, Barclaycard, MasterCard and Gemalto, the infrastructure in North America and Europe is getting to the point where mass-market adoption of NFC in 2012 is becoming realistic.

Orange and Barclaycard customers will be the first to be able to use their mobile devices to make payments wherever contactless payments are accepted in Britain.

Working with various handset manufacturers, the offering from Orange and Barclaycard will let customers use their mobile devices to pay for goods and services at more than 40,000 retailers that use the technology by waving their mobile phone against a contactless reader.

The launch proposition will focus on an industry-backed, SIM-based approach to payments with the goals of enhancing security for customers and provide a single point of customer care contact.

MasterCard PayPass is the technology used at merchants’ point of sale to enable the mobile contactless payment transactions.

There are also already 42,500 live Barclaycard contactless terminals in retail outlets across Britain, including Pret a Manger, EAT, Little Chef and, soon, Co-Op.

Mobile Commerce Daily’s Dan Butcher interviewed Rémi de Fouchier, senior vice president of mobile contactless services at Gemalto, La Ciotat, France. Here is what he had to say:

What is the current state of contactless mobile payments in Europe, and what is its potential going forward into 2011? In the U.S.?
2009 and 2010 have been the years of pilots. 2010 and 2011 are the years where commercial solutions and the real-life infrastructures are being put into operations to prepare for a massive deployment in all contactless payment regions in 2012.

The U.S. through the ISIS initiative and major European MNOs will play a key role, and they can also count on a strong contribution from leading innovative banks and payment schemes.

What is the strategy behind the partnership between Barclays, Orange, Everything Everywhere and Gemalto and the launch of the NFC-based mobile contactless payment pilot?
The Barclaycard and Orange UK partnership covers many business aspects, including co-branded cards and more recently mobile contactless payment.

Mobile payments technology will further enhance the relationship with Barclaycard’s existing customers and bring new customers to Barclaycard.

To its end customers, Barclaycard’s mobile payments platform will ultimately become their mobile wallet.
Mobile payment will become the flagship of both companies, with strong expectations in market share increase from both sides.

Gemalto is making this payment revolution possible by deploying commercial-ready Trusted Service Management operated services, NFC SIM cards with a payment application and a user interface on the handset.

Consumers with which handsets/operating systems can participate in the NFC trial?
Orange sets out its ambitions for mobile contactless services: large-scale commercial deployment of new generation SIM cards and handsets in Europe.

That sets the scene of the revolution in Europe—there have been similar announcements in the U.S.

The time where one single Samsung Ely phone was available is now a thing of the past.

Gemalto NFC solutions have addressed handset fragmentation and offer amazing ergonomics.

Which retailers/merchants, kiosks, transit companies and other businesses are compatible with/support the NFC platform/trial?
No disclosure possible for the moment on that side.

Barclaycard leads the British market, both in the issuance of contactless cards and the deployment of terminals in retailers.

The company intends to continue this leadership through introducing mobile contactless payments.

The UK Department for Transport has said that NFC Phones have the potential to be the dominant smart media for transport.

The ability for the passenger to interact with the ticket, load data and access travel information through the same device that their ticket is stored on could revolutionize transport ticketing and the service to the customer.

Gemalto-operated platforms and NFC applications are structured around core NFC payment and transport use cases, but also address such needs as corporate access and a large variety of NFC loyalty or couponing programs, in particular those derived from bestselling Gemalto contactless card applications.

What challenges does Gemalto address for the partners?
As in any commercial-grade solution, there are always challenges, but most importantly, Gemalto addresses payment network type-approval and certification for both products and services, performance and ergonomics for end-users, and meeting both partners’ constraints smartly merged into a bridged TSM solution.

Any Gemalto-operated TSM Platform is designed for high availability, mass-volume transactions and stringent security.

Final Take
Mobile financial services