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Telefonica begins commercial NFC service in Czech Republic

Two thousand customers who purchase a Samsung Galaxy S III are to be the first Czech consumers to take part in a commercial NFC payments service, offered by carrier Telefonica in conjunction with Komerční Banka, Visa Europe and Samsung.

Komercni Banka

KOMERCNI BANKA: Working with Telefonica, Visa and Samsung

Two thousand Telefonica Czech Republic subscribers with a Samsung Galaxy S III phone are being offered the opportunity to swap a conventional SIM card for an NFC-enabled SIM so they can pay with NFC at merchants accepting Visa Paywave contactless payments.

The limited launch is being run by Telefonica in conjunction with Komerční Banka, Visa Europe and Samsung. Customers who take up the offer will receive a free credit of 250Kč (US$12.60) which they will be able to use to try out the new mobile payment service. They will then be able to top up their prepaid ‘card’ via an account held at Komerční Banka.

The launch follows successful pilot testing of NFC payments at a number of Globus hypermarkets in the cities of Prague and Pilsen. 450 participants in the pilot spent a total of CZK 3.2m ($161,783) using their NFC phones over the course of the 12 month trial. The average amount per transaction was 537Kč ($27.15) and participants made an average of four NFC payments a month. Transactions under 500Kč ($25.27), which do not need a signature or PIN, made up 68% of the purchases.

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