|Mobile payments are expected to take off in Poland soon|
Orange and T-Mobile have begun the battle for control of Poland’s nascent mobile payments market, with both announcing plans last week to launch contactless services in the country later this year. Both are aiming to team up with as many partners as possible to ensure they get the largest slice of the pie.
Although the technology can vary, contactless payments work by using a mobile phone equipped with a Near Field Communication (NFC) module. The SIM NFC card installed in the mobile phone works with PayPass technology to allow consumers to make payments by using their mobile smartphone anywhere their card is accepted.
Mobile phone operator Orange says its customers will be able to buy products and services in Poland through contactless payments in November 2012. It will offer the service through its new scheme, Orange Cash, which it is launching in conjunction with BRE Bank’s virtual bank mBank and MasterCard Europe.
“We believe that the mobile payment market will develop quickly and mBank intends to be the leading player in this field,” BRE Bank president Cezary Stypułkowski told a news conference.
Polska Telefonia Cyfrowa (PTC), operator of the T-Mobile network in Poland, will at the end of October also begin offering mobile payment services. By the end of next year the service will be used by tens of thousands of PTC’s customers, Grzegorz Bors, a member of the board at PTC, said at a press conference. The scheme will be launched in cooperation with MasterCard.
Visa weighs in
Visa Europe, which predicts that more than half of all transactions where its services are used will be carried out on a mobile device by 2020, is itself engaged in preparations to enter the market.
The company has so far conducted mobile payment trials in Poland, working alongside five major banks and three of the country’s leading mobile operators.
Asked about Visa’s prospective mobile operator partners, spokesperson Ma-ciej Gajewski said that Visa “works with all partners, including all mobile operators.”
“Visa Europe is already working in Poland on commercial mobile payment launches with many banks, a few of which agreed to be named. They are: BRE (mBank and MultiBank), Bank Zachodni WBK and ING Bank ¦l±ski. The organisation also cooperates with all mobile operators, the most advanced projects being run with two of them, including the Orange network,” he added.
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