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National NFC Wallet for Austria
by NFC Admin, Donnerstag, 19 September 2013
Today a consortium out of MNOs (T-Mobile, Drei), Banks (Erste Bank, Raiffeisen), Card Issuers (Card Complete, Paylife) and Acquirer announced the “Mobile Wallet Austria” NFC-Initiative in order to create an open, nationwide standard for mobile wallets. With this mobile wallet consumers are able to pay contactless with their mobile phones and subsequently to use special offers like loyalty cards, vouchers and coupons at the Point of Sale by a simple touch. At least this is the basic idea that is behind the concept.
Through this cooperation it is ensured that services from providers of various sectors such as retail, transportation, ticketing, security and banking, etc. could be used with a mobile wallet based on a common technology standard. Although currently neither retailers nor a public transport operator showed commitment to this concept. The proposed solution should work with both major payment schemas, MasterCard and Visa to offer consumers the highest possible flexibility for contactless payments.
With this project Austria shall become a leading reference market with respect to the deployment of NFC based mobile payment. To ensure highest security on the mobile phone a special NFC-enabled SIM card is distributed by the mobile network operators. The involved partners cooperate in the technical development and market rollout of the mobile wallet. At the moment first feasibility tests are performed, in autumn 2013 a nationwide pilot will start. The solution will be ready for mass market in 2014. Thus the technical solution will be established in the upcoming 15 month. The idea is similar to the one ISIS has. But due to the complex processes, this wallet for the US is already far behind schedule.
The wallet currently focuses on credit cards, as the major debit card issuer – Payment Services Austria – is not part of the consortium. Secondly, Austria’s leading mobile network operator is also not showing up as partner in the consortium. Thus it will show after time if Drei and T-Mobile cover enough customers to rollout such a nation wide solution.
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