The bank and the mobile operator plan to issue 100,000 customers with an NFC SIM+antenna solution that will allow them to make payments with their mobile phones at more than 15,000 retailers in Turkey this year.
Garanti Bank and mobile network operator Avea are to begin a commercial rollout of NFC services in Turkey in July. The commercial service will begin by using an NFC SIM+antenna solution supplied by Gemalto — expected to be the Upteq N-Flex device currently being tested in Singapore — with NFC phones also expected to be made available to consumers as soon as they arrive on the market. In all, the two companies expect to equip 100,000 customers with the add-on device in the first year.
Contactless payments are already well established in Turkey with some 15,000 points of sale equipped to accept MasterCard PayPass transactions and more than 10,000 able to accept Visa PayWave. Garanti Bank has been a leading player in the adoption of contactless technology and already offers a combined MasterCard PayPass contactless payments/rewards card called Bonus Trink. This is available in a standard card format or, for a small extra fee, as a contactless sticker as well as in key fob and watch formats.
Now, the bank has partnered with Avea to take the service a step further. Avea subscribers who sign up for the new service will be issued with the new device via the mobile network operator's dealer network. As well as retail payments, customers will be able to use their Trink-enabled phones to earn discounts and gifts and to pay for public transport, parking and concert tickets and to gain access to buildings too. Both credit card and prepaid card applications will be available.
A second Turkish mobile network operator, Turkcell, also has plans to introduce commercial NFC services in the near future. Turkcell has worked on NFC with both Garanti Bank and Akbank over the last two years and, earlier this week, revealed it plans to begin a commercial NFC service towards the end of this year.