Akbank has become the third major Turkish bank to join the Cep-T Cüzdan mobile payment service offered by the country's largest telecomms operator Turkcell.
Yapi Kredi was the first major bank to offer customers access to Turkcell's mobile wallet application at launch in May last year.
The launch of the system followed two years of development work and initially required customers to swap their SIM card for an NFC-enabled one from Gemalto or to attach an antenna add-on to their handset. Customers with a Turkcell SIMPlus 256 SIM card can also download the wallet app from Turkkcell's online store to an NFC-enabled handset.
With Akbank joining Yapi Kredi and later arrival Garanti Bank, Turkcell now boasts that it is the first mobile operator in the world to host more than one bank credit card in its mobile wallet.
Akbank's EVP in charge of payment systems, Mehmet Sindel says partnerships with mobile operators are essential if banks are to enter the m-payments market. "Mobile phones have now become such a necessity that they top our "must have gadgets" list," he says. "In this sense, mobile operators, their sales channels, and services are also vital in the communications arena. By integrating mobile payment transactions to mobile phones via Turkcell, we will provide our card holders with the advantage of securely using this technology."