The pilot involves fifty people who will be able to use NFC phones to charge purchases to a TIM Itaucard at one hundred restaurants in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.
The main objectives of the pilot are to gain knowledge about the technology, train employees and “appreciate the difficulties and insights for future roll out”, says TIM. The carrier then plans to gradually expand the scale of its testing with a view to offering NFC services to consumers in the second half of 2013.
“This is one of the first NFC pilot projects in Latin America and we see it as just the beginning,” says Gemalto’s Rodrigo Serna. “With a major player like TIM able to provide NFC services to its large customer base, we are a step ahead in implementing massive mobile contactless services in Brazil.”
As well as the NFC pilot, TIM has also announced plans this month to introduce a broader mobile payments service, in conjunction with MasterCard and Caixa Econômica Federal, the state-owned savings bank. The service, which is due to go live during the second half of 2013, will allow consumers to make purchases at any merchant using a magnetic stripe card linked to their mobile phone number and a virtual prepaid card account.