Turkey's Garanti Bank is partnering with local wireless operator Avea to provide mobile phone users with NFC-enabled SIM cards that remove the need to buy purpose-built contactless handsets.
Developed in conjunction with MasterCard and Gemalto, the new SIM cards will be available from July 2010. Garanti Bank customers will be able to convert their existing mobile phone to become compatible with NFC technology simply by installing the new SIM card. It enables users to conduct mobile contactless payments at numerous compatible payment terminals in Turkey and around the world.
Based on Garanti's existing Bonus Trink (pay pass) feature - which is currently available in multiple formats, including a key-fob, watch, credit card or sticker - mobile phone users will have the option to make payments by debiting either one of their Garanti credit cards or by using pre-paid credit.
The NFC-enabled SIM card can also be used as identification to gain access to buildings, as a ticket to football games or concerts, and at vending machines and metro stations. Users can also download additional functionalities to pay motorway tolls.
Mehmet Sezgin, CEO at Garanti Payment Systems, adds: "We have placed the needs and demands of our customer base at the centre of this project, enabling mobile phone users to gain access to NFC technology without having to replace their handsets...We are also moving closer to the aim of eliminating cash altogether by developing innovative products and services."