More than 2.5 million handsets are now in use across France that are enabled with NFC Cityzi contactless technology. The number of phones supporting the Cityzi service has increased rapidly from the 1 million being used in June 2012, according to the French contactless sector association AFSCM.
Cityzi, first launched commercially in 2011 with the support of Bouygues Telecom, NRJ Mobile, France Teleocm Orange and SFR, is now supported across 26 handsets and 55,000 travel and retail outlets throughout France, according the association.
"The work done by the mobile operators has put in place the conditions for the success of NFC in France," Dreuille Thibault, the AFSCM's director general, said in a statement. "This puts us in the best position for optimal launch [of] services on Cityzi NFC mobile phones, such as payment and transportation, in 2013."
Thibault claims that the majority of handset vendors--Samsung, LG, Sony Mobiel Communciations, HTC, BlackBerry, Motorola Mobility and Nokia--consider NFC SIM-based technology a priority and are integrating support into their new products.
This compares to a single handset--the Samsung Tocco Cityzi--being available when the Cityzi service was first launched. "Today, France is among the leading European countries in terms of NFC being integrated into consumer handsets," Thibault said.
Mobile payment ventures must make progress quickly--or opportunity may be lost
Vodafone's Colao: UK consumers to embrace NFC payments in 2013
UK operators rename mobile payments JV 'Weve,' hype tailored services
3 UK awaits invitation to join mobile payments JV
Analyst: UK consumers want banks to provide m-wallets