"Soon, children will only know from history books what a wallet and hard cash are," says René Schuster, CEO of Telefónica Germany, as the carrier prepares to make NFC payments available to customers from next month.
Telefónica O2 Germany subscribers with a Samsung Galaxy S III or Galaxy Ace 2 mobile phone will be able to use their device to make NFC mobile payments in stores from mid-February 2013, the carrier has announced.
The move follows Telefónica O2 Germany's introduction in October 2012 of mobile contactless stickers. These allow users of mPass, an mcommerce and ecommerce payments service jointly operated by Telefónica, Vodafone and Deutsche Telekom, to also use their account to make payments in stores.
Now, Telefónica's mPass service is being extended to work with NFC phones, using an NFC-enabled version of the O2 Wallet, as well as to support person-to-person funds transfers using a new "mPass Geld Senden" service.
"The launch of O2 Wallet is planned for mid-February in the form of a 'friendly user test'," the carrier explains. "Here, customers volunteer to participate and their experiences are fed back into the continued development of the electronic wallet. O2 customers with an NFC-capable smartphone — either the Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 or S III — and who have ordered the free NFC pack with an NFC-capable SIM card are eligible to take part.
"Once inserted, the user will automatically receive a text message with a download link which allows them to install the wallet. To link a card to the digital wallet, the tester then registers to pay using mPass in shops. The 'mPass O2 Wallet Card' is now automatically added to the digital wallet — and the customer can start shopping."
"Over the course of the year, Telefónica will be expanding its wallet service to include additional applications and functions such as other payment cards, vouchers and loyalty schemes," the carrier adds. "The first bank will shortly be joining the wallet scheme, allowing the integration of a digitized credit card."
"Soon, children will only know from history books what a wallet and hard cash are," says René Schuster, CEO of Telefónica Germany. "Mobile payment with your smartphone has arrived in Germany. Our customers will soon be transferring money mobile-to-mobile and paying in shops using their digital wallet."