Oberthur Technologies and Airtel Africa continue to lead the way in innovation with the successful launch of NFC in Kenya, Tanzania and Gabon.
The launch comes hot on the heels of last years GSMA top award for ZAP, winning `Best Mobile Money for the Unbanked Market'. Moreover, the solution is nominated in the "Best Mobile Technology for Emerging Markets" category for the 2011 GSMA awards.
Oberthur Technologies developed both the NFC SIM and M-Commerce security solutions, which are to be deployed across fifteen African affiliates, enabling mobile subscribers to pay for goods and services with their mobile phones.
"As a pioneer of innovation in Africa, the new Airtel Africa NFC service enhances our users' experience. The payment process was made even simpler by waving the NFC-enabled SIM & handset in front of the payment terminal to complete a transaction in a matter of seconds. Any non-technical or non-experienced user can use the new service," stated George Held, Director of Products & Innovation, Airtel Africa.
After the successful commercial launch of `Nice, NFC City', Oberthur Technologies' NFC R&D team tailored the technology to Airtel Africa's needs; they developed bespoke NFC applets, integrated and customised the POS application and engineered unique NFC enablers for specific user handsets.
"This is a landmark in Africa and the first steps of an evolution of the payment ecosystem for mobile users, banked and unbanked, with no compromise on security. True innovation can be realised in these markets and we look forward to the commercial NFC launch across 12 countries at the beginning of 2011," states Thierry Siminger, Managing Director of the Russia, Middle East and Africa Region of the Card Systems Division of Oberthur Technologies.