Telefónica preps NFC for European launch within months

Telefónica's new Digital division will help introduce NFC-based mobile wallet services across Europe over the next few months. The Spanish company has chosen German payment and banking specialist Giesecke & Devrient (G&D) to provide a European-wide trusted service management (TSM) system that Telefónica will use to deploy commercial NFC services starting early next year.

The agreement with G&D calls for it to provide a portfolio of TSM services including over-the-air (OTA) transfer and personalisation of NFC applications. G&D will also manage the lifecycle of Telefónica's NFC application platform, and become one of the operator's NFC SIM suppliers.

Telefónica said that it will introduce NFC-based services though an m-wallet app in Europe within months. "This new NFC management platform on Telefónica's network will also be made available to third-party service providers, including financial institutions, transit operators and loyalty partners," the operator said a statement.

In the statement Joaquín Mata, global head of financial services at Telefónica Digital, said: "The final goal for Telefónica is to build an open NFC ecosystem ensuring interoperability and offering service providers a friendly environment to deliver NFC services reaching a large number of mobile subscribers." He added that G&D is one of the company's strategic partners in building this new ecosystem and has the required technological experise to make the solution a reality.

Telefónica is already involved with a number of NFC and m-commerce trials and Jjoint ventures. It announced in November that it was working with Research In Motion to pilot a BlackBerry m-wallet service at its Distrito Telefónica headquarters in Madrid. The company has for some months been conducting large-scale trials of NFC at the same Madrid office, and is also a founder member of the UK m-commerce joint venture formed with Vodafone and Everything Everywhere.

For more:
- see this Telefónica release
- see this G&D release
- see this NFC World article

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