Italian mobile network operator (MNO) Wind and the Italian BNL BNP Paribas banking group have begun a trial of near field communication (NFC) technology, in collaboration with SIA and MasterCard. The aim is to allow mobile contactless purchases to be made via a Samsung smartphone, with a credit card issued by BNL on the MasterCard circuit and virtualised on a NFC subscriber identity module (SIM) secure element (SE) provided by Gemalto.
The mobile m-payment and commerce pilot apes many similar trials in Sitges, northern Spain, and Nice in France, and is intended to test the NFC technology and Italian consumer demand for the service. To access the new Italian service, users select the method of payment on the ‘YouPass BNL’ application and then just tap NFC-enabled smartphone next to the point of sale (PoS) NFC-enabled reader terminal. The system uses the well-established MasterCard PayPass solution. A number of nationwide Italian supermarkets and restaurants and fast food chains have all signed up to the pilot, with taxi fleets in some cities and fashion and sports stores also on board.
BNL bank said that the pilot is part of its focus on innovation and multi-channel technologies, such as the mobile arena, and one aspect of its drive to improve the banking services on offer to its customers. An increasing number of retailers, large and small, are adopting PoS terminals with NFC technology thanks to new partnerships between MasterCard and banks across Italy.