The Turkish mobile network operator's new Cep-T Cüzdan mobile wallet service lets subscribers make payments with an NFC phone or using SIM+antenna add-ons that enable transactions to be made with existing mobile phones.
The move follows the commercial launch of an NFC service by rival mobile network operator Avea and Garanti Bank in December 2010.
"With this new service based on near field communication technology, those customers with NFC-enabled mobile phones will be able to turn their phones into a credit card, a toll pass card or even a concert ticket," says Turkcell.
"In order to benefit from this service, customers should subscribe to the service at Turkcell retail outlets and exchange their existing SIM card for an NFC-enabled one," says the firm. The NFC-enabled SIM cards are provided by Gemalto, and support the single wire protocol that connects SIMs to the NFC chips in phones.
For customers who do not have NFC-enabled phones, Turkcell also offers two different add-on solutions which NFC-enable ordinary handsets. These are Gemalto's N-Flex SIM+antenna solution which can be used with some 50 different handset models, and the Turkcell T10 Copni SIM+antenna designed, developed and manufactured by On Track Innovations and delivered by E-Kart for Turkcell's own-branded T10 handset. Both solutions will enable payments with MasterCard PayPass.
The first service provider to join the new Turkcell service is Yapi Kredi Bank, which has been testing NFC services using the iCarte add-on for Apple iPhones since the beginning of this year.
Yapi Kredi and Turkcell customers will be able to load their MasterCard credit cards onto their NFC-enabled SIMs and make contactless transactions for payments of up to 35TL (US$22.61) with no pin or signature. Over forty thousand terminals that already accept MasterCard PayPass cards in Turkey will also be available to Cep-T Cüzdan subscribers.
"Turkcell has been working on NFC service infrastructure for a couple of years," the company explains. "Following two pilot schemes with two Turkish banks, the requirements of the system were well defined, with all related developments finalized by the end of 2010. Today, Turkcell proudly provides an end-to-end NFC solution to service providers who wish to be a part of the 'Cep-T Cüzdan' platform.
"As part of this system, the Turkcell TSM (trusted service manager) platform was developed and integrated with the Turkcell OTA (over-the-air) service. Turkcell is the first telecom operator in Europe to launch an approved TSM solution by MasterCard.
"Turkcell in particular differentiates its NFC service with the mobile client developed by its own technology team. The user interface designed for Java operating system makes the control and management of the cards in the mobile wallet much simpler for customers. Turkcell is working on support for the other operating systems for its client.
"For non-NFC-enabled phones, customers can still use the SIM Tool Kit menu to access their mobile wallet.
"Following Yapi Kredi, further Turkish banks and other service providers operating in transportation or ticketing business sectors will be available to Cep-T Cüzdan service," says Turkcell.