Mobile network operator Orange is to roll out a national NFC payments service in France next year under the Orange Cash brand name, enabling NFC phone owners to use a prepaid card stored on their handset to pay for goods at Visa PayWave contactless terminals.
As well as securely paying via NFC, customers will be able to send and receive money, make secure transactions online using a one-time card number and benefit from exclusive special offers, all via the Orange Cash app.
Orange is "joining forces with various brands in order to offer customers special offers and recommendations all year round," the company says.
The service will go live initially at the beginning of next year in the cities of Caen and Strasbourg where, Orange says, there are 3,000 and 4,000 compatible terminals in operation. The service will then be gradually extended across France during the second quarter of 2014.
40% of phones sold by Orange in France are NFC-enabled, says CEO Stéphane Richard — and all of these customers will be able to make payments with Orange Cash next year.
"The prospect of a massive switch to mobile payments opens up a real opportunity for an operator like Orange," Richard says. "We enjoy many advantages: we embody mobility in a world where the smartphone has a central place in our lives, on the other hand, we have an element essential to the security of transactions — the SIM card, as sure as the chip in our credit card."
A video from Orange highlights the advantages of Orange Cash: