Mobile network operator Deutsche Telekom has formed a Europe-wide partnership with MasterCard that will see the pair push contactless mobile payments to tens of millions of people.
The first consumer roll-out of the NFC-enabled SIM-based mobile wallet will take place in Poland later this year, enabling users to tap their handset against readers at the point of sale for low value transactions.
Meanwhile, a tag and card-based trial will go ahead in Germany this year, with a full wallet service open to banks and other partners set for 2013. Deutsche Telekom will issue the MasterCard products via ClickandBuy, the e-money licence-holding Internet payment service provider it acquired in 2010. Other European countries will follow.
Thomas Kiessling, chief product and innovation officer, Deutsche Telekom, says: "This is a huge step on our way to increase mobile payments. With MasterCard we have a well-known and experienced partner generating growth in this important market segment. We want to build a comprehensive ecosystem around mobile payment, helping Telekom to realize its strategy of being the first choice for customers regarding connected life and work."
Earlier this year a similar, global, partnership was struck between Vodafone and Visa to bring contactless mobile payments to customers in more than 30 countries. Another of the big telcos, Orange, last week revealed it has begun rolling out NFC-enabled SIMs to its millions of customers across France.