NFC-Capable SIM Cards for Italy’s First Mobile Payment Pilot Project

Munich-based Giesecke & Devrient (G&D) is supplying NFC-capable SIM cards to Nòverca, an MVNO, for Italy’s very first pilot project for mobile payments launched by Banca Intesa Sanpaolo. Six hundred employees and customers of Banca Intesa Sanpaolo can now use their mobile phones to make contactless payments in the northern Italian cities of Milan and Turin at more than 3,000 POS (point of sale) terminals provided by Setefi, the payment institution of the Intesa Sanpaolo Group, for example in supermarkets and cafés.

As one of NFC’s development pioneers, G&D has already helped to get more than 40 pilot projects off the ground, providing solutions and services for the secure installation and management of NFC applications on mobile devices.

Giesecke & Devrient’s newly developed Taurus-generation NFC SIM cards are being deployed to guarantee the security of the payment transactions. The technology group is supplying the SIM cards to Italian virtual network operator Noverca, its partner in the pilot project. G&D has also equipped the SIM cards with MasterCard® PayPass™ technology for contactless payment transactions, meaning that mobile payments made with this technology meet the same security standards as conventional card payments.

“This project is an important milestone on the road to introducing mobile payments in the Italian market. The close cooperation between all the players in the mobile ecosystem is adding tangible value for their customers,” says Willem Bulthuis, Group Senior Vice President, Mobile Security, Global Marketing and Sales, at G&D“With access to 3,000 POS terminals, the smartphone users can opt for contactless payment for virtually any of their everyday purchases. Uppermost for us is the security of the transactions – we want users to feel confident at all times using this new payment technology.” 

Banca Intesa Sanpaolo is providing the 600 participants in the pilot project – who include its own employees and customers as well as employees of the universities of Milan and Turin – with NFC-capable Samsung Wave S5780 smartphones, which will enable them to make quick and convenient payment transactions in a wide variety of stores in both cities. Setefi, Intesa Sanpaolo’s exclusive payment processor and card issuer, is the local service provider for the 3,000 contactless-capable POS terminals in use. The network comprises retailers, cafés, and much more besides. Setefi is the leading acquirer in the Italian market, managing some 300,000 POS terminals and more than 10 million payment cards issued by the Intesa Sanpaolo Group across the country. Participants in this project also have the opportunity to broaden their experience of mobile communications by using a wide portfolio of services based on Nòverca’s MVNO technology and G&D’s SIM cards.

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