Pilsen: the site of the world’s first multi-function NFC system

Pilsen, Czech Republic

Image by sciascia via Flickr

The Czech city of Pilsen has been using contactless for some time, having implemented the technology in travel tickets several years ago. By 2009, the city had issued 235,000 plastic cards that could be used on the contactless machines on its buses and trams. But it can now boast an impressive first for NFC, thanks to the first phase of a pilot that began last year.

Pilsen was chosen as the site of the world’s first multi-function NFC system incorporating retail payments and MIFARE transit ticketing applications when Czech telco Telefonica O2 and the city’s transport service, PMDP, held a nine-month mobile payments trial which used the existing contactless infrastructure.

The initial phase saw more than 50 travelers using NFC-equipped Nokia phones to pay for their travel in the city, buy goods at participating retailers, pay for entertainment tickets, and view their balance and transaction history.

During the trial users suggested other applications they wanted to see included, such as library access, parking payment, health card details and electronic keys for car and home.

The second phase of the project started in 2010 with travelers using the Nokia handsets to top up a transit ePurse and buy bus tickets directly from their phone using NXP’s MIFARE4Mobile technology.

In addition, Telefonica O2 is selling NFC phones in six shops in Pilsen preloaded with the city’s transit card application, which can also be used for payments and as a library card.

Click here to see the League Table on Pilsen

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