MasterCard and Deutsche Telekom have announced that they shall partner-up to offer a new service across Europe using an NFC wallet solution. The mobile wallet will debut in Poland in Q3 and then Germany soon after. This could be a big boost for MasterCard which has a lot of catching up to do in the mobile payment space since Visa, PayPal, Square and others have been seeing tremendous growth in the US.
Deutsche Telekom has 93 million mobile subscribers in Europe, and 129 million globally.
This announcement comes after news of Friday that France Telecom will start rolling out NFC-enabled SIM cards all new subscribers in France, with plans to expand to more markets throughout the year.
DT and MasterCard's service will also be SIM-based, using the MC service ClickandBuy and its e-money license.
With so many apps and dongles now in the market it is about time that deeper integration starts so that no additional hardware is needed for transactions on the consumer end (though some would be needed on the merchant end).
Europe has already seen some growth from a local company iZettle, which continues to stand out as the Square across the pond, especially since the mobile payment startup from San Francisco has yet to leap into a more global market.
There has been no shortage of companies clamoring to get into mobile payments, nor partnerships forged for this function. Vodafone has partnered-up with Visa; T-Mobile USA has brokered a deal with Square; and AT&T and Verizon both work with Intuit.
In the announcement Monday morning, DT stated that mobile payments are one of the fastest growing consumer services in the last five years.
"This is a huge step on our way to increase mobile payments. With MasterCard we have a well-known and experienced partner generating growth in this important market segment," said Thomas Kiessling, Chief Product and Innovation Officer for Deutsche Telekom, in a statement. "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".
Much like the app and dongle models floating around the US, this new service also hopes to gain customer trust since the transactions are secure and the companies have worked out a great deal of transparency so that you get texts and other electronic updates when transactions are made.