Italian carrier Telecom Italia and Visa Europe have signed a strategic agreement which will see NFC payments rolled out across Italy to more than 31 million customers of the TIM mobile network from 2014.
The new service builds on a number of successful pilots carried out by the carrier and will allow consumers to use selected NFC phones to make payments at any contactless POS terminal as well as transfer money to friends and family members and make online purchases.
A TIM-branded Visa card, produced in partnership with banking group Intesa Sanpaolo, will be stored on each customers' NFC SIM.
TIM also plans to make its mobile wallet platform available to a wide range of partners including financial institutions, retailers, transport and public utility companies, in the hope of creating an open wallet.
"Telecom Italia has developed a specific technologic platform to ensure the security of mobile payment services that banks will enable to cardholders," says Telecom Italia CEO Marco Patuano.
"The partnership with Visa allows us to accelerate the deployment of payment services allowed through mobile phones, a step that will change people's habits and will make everyday life easier for our customers."