French government hopes to boost NFC with €20M grant

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The French government aims to accelerate the commercial deployment of NFC ticketing services in major cities across the country via a a €20 million grant. Seventeen French cities, including Paris, have been shortlisted to receive the grants as mobile operators prepare for the deployment of NFC transport ticketing infrastructure across parts of France.

The funding seems destined to be allocated to cities that have been trialling NFC ticketing services for some years, as well as those that have used the technology to provide tourism and information service projects. Those thought to be most eligible include Besançon, Bordeaux, the Caen region, Dijon, Grenoble, Lille, Marseille, Mulhouse, Nice, Reims, Rennes, Strasbourg, Toulon and Toulouse.

The move come as the AFSCM--the industry body responsible for developing the standards on which the French Cityzi NFC service are built--published a full set of standards, specifications and developer guidelines covering all aspects of its technology, according to an NFC World report.

Visa has also stepped forward by announcing an agreement with the French Payez Mobile association, which targets the development of NFC payments standards, to allow Visa-branded payments services to be commercially deployed across France. MasterCard signed a similar agreement in December 2010.

The Cityzi NFC, which has been undergoing extensive trials in Nice since May 2010, is now being expanded to cover Strasbourg and in Caen, with Marseille and Bordeaux scheduled for the first half of this year.

For more:
- see this NFC World article
- see this Telecom Paper article

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