Crédit Mutuel-CIC, Gemalto and NRJ Mobile have teamed up on what they claim is Europe's first commercial roll-out of contactless mobile payments services, in Nice.
The partnership is part of a wider, government-backed, initiative by banks, telcos, transport operators and retailers called "Nice, mobile contactless city".
The project will enable people in Nice to use their NFC-enabled mobile phones to pay at restaurants, supermarkets and local stores, as well as in the city's transport networks. Information services will also be available at the museums and university campus.
Users in Nice will take out an "NFC mobile pack" at their operator's points of sale, and activate the contactless payment service at their bank branch office.
Gemalto is also working with mobile operator Orange on its contactless m-payments offering in the city.
Laurent Michel, innovative projects director, Orange, says: "Orange believes contactless mobile services will transform consumers' lifestyles and we are proud to be one of the world's first mobile network operators to deliver these to our subscribers."
Other companies working on the contactless Nice project include BNP Paribas and Oberthur Technologies, who revealed in November that starting in the spring, over 3000 residents in the city will be able to pay for public transport tickets and obtain information on routes and timetables using NFC handsets.
All the firms behind the projects are part of not-for-profit association set up by seven banks and four telcos to promote the deployment of an interoperable mobile payment service in France. The Association Européenne Payez Mobile (AEPM - European Association for Mobile Payment) was established in 2008 following a 12-month pilot in Caen and Strasbourg which received positive user feedback.