Seven banks and four mobile operators have formed a not-for-profit association to promote the deployment of an interoperable mobile payment service in France.
The Association Européenne Payez Mobile» (AEPM - European Association for Mobile Payment) has been established following a year-long pilot in Caen and Strasbourg.
The Payez Mobile pilot - overseen by the French "Secure Electronic Transactions" (TES) cluster in Lower Normanday - was launched in November 2007 to test customer satisfaction and interoperability among systems provided by different suppliers.
Payez Mobile project members include seven banks (BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole-LCL, Crédit Mutuel-CIC, La Banque Postale, le Groupe Caisse d'Epargne, Société Générale, le Groupe Banque Populaire) and 4 mobile operators (Bouygues Télécom, Orange, SFR and NRJ Mobile).
MasterCard and Visa are involved in the programme, along with handset manufacturers LG, Motorola and Sagem and eftpos vendors Ingenico and Sagem Monetel. Gemalto, along with Oberthur Card Systems, was chosen to provide SIM cards and an application management platform for the pilot.
Around 1000 customers and 500 sales outlets in the cities of Caen and Strasbourg have participated in the pilot, with payments ranging from EUR0.20 to EUR250.
Positive feedback from trial participants have encouraged consortium members to extend the field trials through 2009.
The group says the new Association - which will include representatives from each of the banks and mobile operators - has been established to promote wider uptake of the programme and to contribute to the work undertaken by the French government's Contactless Mobile Services Forum, sponsored by Luc Chatel, French secretary of state in charge of industry and consumer affairs.