Mobile Contactless Payments Trialled Live at Mobile World Congress 2010

Today the GSMA, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Telefónica, and Visa, together with Giesecke & Devrient, Ingenico, ITN International and La Caixa, announced the arrival of contactless mobile payments at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this year. The companies unveiled the result of months of collaboration and have brought the first ever SIM-based NFC payments pilot to Mobile World Congress.

The participating companies have provided more than 400 NFC handsets to guests for use at the Congress. The Samsung Star NFC handsets contain Telefónica SIM cards from O2 pre-loaded with €60 airtime credit as well as a La Caixa Visa Mobile Payment Application. Participants can use their NFC phones to pay for food and drink up to a value of €75 at over 30 merchant locations around the Congress.

“It is a fantastic achievement to bring a full payment trial to Mobile World Congress and a testament to the hard work of the partners that this cross-industry collaboration has worked so well,” said Michael O’Hara, Chief Marketing Officer at the GSMA. “Mobile operators have been requesting SIM-based NFC handsets for some time now and it’s great to see such progress in this area. Now that the handsets are coming, we can expect to see a number of commercial launches of mobile SIM-based NFC services this year.”

Participants in the trial will be able to purchase food and drink, simply by holding their Samsung NFC mobile phone against the contactless terminal at the participating merchants to pay for purchases under €10. Purchases above €10 require a passcode which the participant keys into the handset before presenting it to the terminal. The transactions are authorised online, with funds deducted from a La Caixa Visa account.

Global trials have shown a growing demand for mobile transaction services, with particular interest in proximity payments. The partners have worked successfully to bring the NFC experience to Mobile World Congress with the intention of raising awareness of this technology in anticipation of the commercial launch of these SIM based handsets in the very near future. As more of the SIM based handsets become commercially available it will help trigger global adoption and rollout of mobile NFC. Mobile NFC services will change the way people transact with their phones, everything from payments, travelling and ticketing will be transformed to ensure ease and convenience in the lifestyles of consumers around the world.

The project is the result of cross-industry collaboration with contributions from multiple partners:

  • As project lead, the GSMA has been working closely with the partners to bring the pilot to this year’s Mobile World Congress. This leverages the GSMA’s Pay-Buy-Mobile initiative which, supported by over 50 mobile operators, has been working to make SIM-based NFC payment services a reality.
  • Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. provided the NFC-enabled Samsung Star handsets and offered technical support to ensure the stability of the very first NFC payment trial.
  • Telefónica provided the user interface enabling display and management of the core payment application on the handset is the “O2 Wallet” provided by Telefónica.
  • Visa provided the Visa Mobile Payment Application, a made-for-mobile contactless payment application, to La Caixa and Telefónica for use within the O2 SIM cards with €60 preloaded airtime credit. Visa coordinated activities with La Caixa, Telefónica, Ingenico and G&D to ensure that the accounts, O2 Wallet, terminals and SIM cards were Visa-compliant and mobile contactless ready.
  • La Caixa have issued accounts and have credited them with €75; La Caixa are also serving as the Acquiring bank for the participating merchants.
  • Giesecke & Devrient (G&D) manufactured the NFC-enabled SIM cards and personalised them with a La Caixa Visa Mobile Payment Application. This allows the Samsung NFC mobile phone to make EMV mobile payments by connecting to the SIM card through the standardised Single Wire Protocol (SWP).
  • Ingenico provided the participating merchants around the FIRA with the unique colour screen contactless EFT930 G wireless payment terminal, enabling participants to pay for food and drink by simply presenting their mobile phone at the terminal.
  • ITN International, a mobile data management company for the event marketing industry, was a founding member of the NFC experience at Mobile World Congress.

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