A consortium of French banks, telcos and technology vendors that launched a wide-scale contactless mobile payments trial last year is reporting customer satisfaction rates of above 90% for the scheme.
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.
Around 1000 customers and 200 sales outlets in the cities of Caen and Strasbourg were recruited to participate in the pilot. Participants can make payments of less than EUR20 by tapping their handsets against specially designed terminals.
The consortium that launched the pilot includes French banks BNP Paribas, Groupe Crédit Mutuel-CIC, Crédit Agricole and LCL, Groupe Caisses d'Epargne, La Banque Postale and Société Générale as well as mobile operators Bouygues Telecom, Orange and SFR.
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.
Gemalto is reporting a new contract with the consortium following the early success of the project. Gemalto says studies by the consortium show that customers cite an "all-in-one approach" and "ease of use" as the most popular features of the mobile payments system.
The Payez Mobile pilot followed a 2006 Strasbourg trial by MasterCard and a seven company-strong consortium, including Groupe Crédit Mutuel, CIC and NRJ Mobile, to enable 200 residents to make contactless payments via mobile phones at 50 retailers in the city.
When launching the Payez Mobile trial, the group said the mobile payments system would contribute "to the definition of an international standard within the future single euro payments area (Sepa).
Earlier this week the European Payments Council (EPC) said it will work with GSMA - an international trade group of mobile operators - to accelerate the deployment of mobile payment services in Sepa.