Turkey: Turkcell Continues Rollout of NFC Services with More Banks, Phones
Turkcell’s mobile wallet enables subscribers to tap their phones to pay for purchases with a MasterCard PayPass application issued by Turkish banks, including Yapı Kredi and Garanti. Subscribers need to exchange their conventional SIM cards for NFC-enabled SIMs, which costs Turkcell five times the cost of conventional SIMs. The operator launched the wallet service with the Samsung S5230, along with a bridge technology, SIMs that can connect to flexible antennas. The telco later added its own branded Android phone, made by Chinese phone maker Huawei. It plans more branded phones and services.
Turkcell, Turkey’s largest mobile operator, is among the most aggressive worldwide in rolling out NFC services. It was keen to launch NFC, but lacked the phones, among other hurdles. Impatient, it has decided to launch in the spring of 2011 with pretty much the only NFC phone available at the time that supported applications on SIM cards, the 2G touch-screen Samsung S5230. It complemented this model with bridge products. In the summer of 2011, Turkcell added its own branded Android NFC phone, the T20, which it commissioned from Chinese handset maker Huawei.
It plans more of its own phones, but the telco faces other challenges, including finding a way to get more point-of-sale terminals in the market supporting nonpayment applications, such as coupons and offers. The 60,000 bank-owned contactless terminals at merchant locations cannot support these applications. But because of multiple loyalty schemes, there are already too many POS terminals crowding merchant checkout counters. Use of the mobile wallet for payment was low as of January 2012.
* Trusted Service Manager: Defined loosely to include companies or other organizations securely distributing, provisioning and managing applications, generally over the air, on secure elements in NFC mobile phones; or licensing their platforms for this purpose. N/A: Not available or not applicable. Last update: Jan 2012