MasterCard and Deutsche Telekom announced today that they have entered into a partnership to bring mobile phone payments to more Europeans over the next year. Deutsche Telekom has around 93 million mobile customers that could soon be using their phones as a credit card.
“This is a huge step on our way to increase mobile payments," said Thomas Kiessling, chief product and innovation officer for Deutsche Telekom (pictured above with Ann Cairns, president of international markets at MasterCard). "With MasterCard we have a well-known and experienced partner generating growth in this important market segment. We want to build a comprehensive ecosystem around mobile payment, helping Telekom to realize its strategy of being the first choice for customers regarding connected life and work.”
The roll-out of the service will begin in Poland later this year, with Germany following soon after. The initial trial for the technology will use mobile phone tags and cards before a full-on mobile wallet service rolls out in the first half of 2013. The mobile wallet service will be open to issuing banks and partners other than MasterCard.
It seems that NFC technology is finally going to take off in the West, and not just for making payments. There are rumors that the next iPhone will have built-in NFC. Though high-end Android smartphones have had NFC capabilities for over a year, it could take the might of Apple to push the technology forward to popularity.