SIM-based mobile payments to arrive in Estonia. Soon.

Estonia’s leading banks and technology companies have started a pilot project to test SIM-based mobile NFC payments. The pilot project is a continuation of the ten-month applied research project, which was searching for ways on how to implement NFC technology in Estonia. 

To test the results of the study, the parties agreed to carry out a pilot project called – obviously enough, “Bank payment card’s in mobile phones“, based on NFC technology. 

“The study achieved all its objectives – the so-called Estonian NFC architecture was agreed upon; everyone’s objectives and requirements were met,” said Tiit TammisteEMT’s technology director. “In addition, the creation process of a virtual credit card and it’s emittance onto a cell phone SIM-card was specified. We also looked ar contactless ticketing solutions for public transport where we propose a way forward.“

Documentation created during the implementation of the study is publicly available on the ELIKO Competence Centre website

“We can proudly say that Estonia’s NFC project takes into account the latest trends in the NFC world and its’ application technologies,” said Oliver Väärtnõu CEO of the ELIKO Technology Competence Centre“The project results include the expertise and state of the art best practicies of a wide circle of partners, including MasterCard, Gemalto, Oberthur Technologies, GSM Association, and other top players.”

The research project co-ordinators say that the project will be followed by a pilot project where partners will test payment card emission onto a mobile phone, the security requirements and user interface of a mobile wallet containing various payment cards, and the transmission of payments made with a virtual payment card through the existing payment infrastructure. In addition, the pilot project must also provide answers to key organizational issues on how to incorporate merchants and end users with the new service, especially on how to ensure a quality product service and a smooth customer experience.

The pilot project will conducted between a selected group of test users from January 2013. The facilitators say they hope the pilot will provide an answer if, and how, there will be a commercial launch of the service to end customers.

The pilot project is carried out by Danske Bank A/S Estonian Branch (Sampo Bank), ELIKO Technology Competence Center, EMT, Nordea Bank Plc Estonia Branch, SEB Bank and Swedbank. The strategic partner in the pilot project is Oberthur Technologies, a global producer of mobile SIM-card and smart card technology, who provides the secure SIM-card that meets the requirements of a virtual bank payment card.


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