Estonian group preps mobile NFC pilot

Source: Danske Bank

Today, Estonian leading mobile operator EMT (part of TeliaSonera) launches a pilot project "Bank Payment Card in Mobile" in cooperation with Estonian leading banks Danske Bank, Nordea Pank, SEB Pank, Swedbank and retail group Tallinna Kaubamaja (Tallinna Kaubamaja, Selver).

The pilot project will test a prototype of the Estonian NFC Mobile Wallet service named "My Wallet".

The pilot project will test a service that allows a mobile phone to be used as a regular bank card. In order to pay for goods, the user, instead of inserting the card to the terminal, must lightly touch the terminal with the phone. Successful transaction is confirmed with a signal tone. The service enables setting a limit on purchase amount that does not require entering a PIN code.

The pilot test group includes 150 people selected by the partners of the pilot project, who will test the new payment option at Kaubamaja Ilumaailm, Kaubamaja Toidumaailm, Selver stores at Järve and Pirita, and also at several cafes.

The project is designed to test the technology and concept of a new payment solution during a limited period of time with a limited amount of users. The main goal of the NFC pilot project is to test the know-how and process models gathered during the applied research phase, as well as to test prototype of a secure mobile wallet and its convenience of usage in real life and the possibilities to use the NFC technology in retail checkout payment solutions. The ultimate goal is to create a secure mobile wallet platform by using the "Bank Payment Card in Mobile" service.

According to the pilot project manager Kuno Peek, this is a rather unique international cooperation project, as in addition to international partnership, 90 percent of Estonian banking sector is involved in the testing of the secure mobile payment concept that would meet the international standards. "This kind of a joint project is a clear sign of EMT's and Estonian banks' innovation and cooperation capability to develop attractive, convenient and secure future services for end users, " Kuno Peek said.

The new payment service is highly secure. All mobile bank cards are located on the NFC SIM card's secure element, where the security level is equal to bank's chip card technology. As today, the security of the service is mainly determined by how securely users treat their PIN codes.

In addition to companies listed above, the pilot project includes five other Estonian companies: NETS Estonia (payment infrastructure), ELIKO Technology Competence Centre, United Tickets, Voicecom (POS card terminal software), Nixor (retail checkout payment solutions); as well as four international companies: Oberthur Technologies (NFC SIM cards), Pertura (mWallet prototype), Ingenico (NFC POS terminals), Samsung (NFC mobile phones), and MasterCard.

The NFC pilot project will run for three months. After the pilot, results will been analyzed and a decision will be made on the future of the service. 

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