Giesecke & Devrient (G&D) is to manufacture and personalize the NFC-capable SIM cards for an innovative mobile payment system in Russia, in cooperation with Sitronics Smart Technologies (SST), the company's technology partner there.
The first commercial NFC project in the Russian Federation was implemented by Lukoil, Russia's biggest oil company, Mobile TeleSystems (MTS), the country's leading mobile network operator and SST. The collaboration will give customers of MTS the convenience of paying their bills at Lukoil filling stations by cell phone. A wide range of commercially available mobile devices can be used for these contactless payment transactions. G&D's commercially available NFC-capable SIM cards are being deployed in the project.
The contactless payment system, which is being set up in Perm, a city of around one million inhabitants in the Ural region, involves equipping the cell phones of MTS customers with an NFC-capable SIM card and a special NFC antenna solution. In order to pay their filling station bills, all that the users have to do is hold their cell phones against the card reader. The invoice amount is debited via an electronic cash function on the SIM card that MTS customers can activate with the provider. The service can be used with a wide range of currently available mobile phone models, for example those of manufacturers Samsung, Nokia, HTC, Sony Ericsson, RIM, Motorola or LG. Following active pre-commercial tests, MTS and Lukoil will launch the commercial phase in November, 2011
As Willem Bulthuis, Group Senior Vice President, Global Marketing & Sales Mobile Security at Giesecke & Devrient, states: "The NFC project in Perm is the first of its kind in Russia. It demonstrates how G&D's innovative SIM card technology enables NFC-capable SIM cards to be used for contactless payments on a wide variety of cell phones. The Russian project thus represents another important milestone toward boosting acceptance of mobile devices in electronic cash applications."
NFC-enabled devices can communicate wirelessly over a range of a few centimeters, making the technology suitable for a host of new services, such as payment by cell phone, the sale of travel tickets, or the access to buildings. These services require special SIM cards, ensuring reliable identification of the person using NFC services.