French wireless operator SFR is to issue a pre-paid cash card to customers as a first step to the introduction of contactless mobile payments and NFC.
Priced at €14.90 and valid for one year, Paycard SFR does not require opening a bank account and can be recharged by cash, credit card or by bank transfer free.
The contactless card has been developed in conjunction with MasterCard and can be used at Paypass terminals instore for tap and go payments alongside conventional point-of-sale terminals, and for card-to-card transfers between friends and family. The card comes with a mobile app that provides real-time transaction data on balances and withdrawals.
MasterCard and SFR signed an agreement in July to develop a contactless NFC SIM card for fully-fledged mobile payments. SFR says it will start issuing its first NFC-ready SIM cards in 2013.