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ING Romania launches NFC services

Thursday 25 July 2013 | 10:58 CET | Background

ING Bank Romania has started enabling its customers to make contactless mobile payments with the mobile wallet service ING Pay. The app is available for the iPhone 4 and selected Samsung Galaxy handsets. ING has launched a service based on the Visa PayWave infrastructure and a microSD card-based Secure Element. Several other players already offer mobile payment services. The lack of legacy financial services infrastructure may be an advantage in Romania, encouraging more innovation in mobile payments, but it also means the installed base is growing slowly. At this point, the number of contactless terminals at point of sale in Romania is small.

ING has launched a service based on the Visa PayWave infrastructure and a microSD card-based Secure Element. The Samsung smartphones take the SD card directly, and a NFC sticker must be put on the phone under the battery cover.

For the iPhone, ING supplies DeviceFidelity’s In2Pay iCaisse, a special case that holds a microSD card and houses an external NFC antenna. The case connects to Apple’s dock connector.

The ING Pay apps built with Oberthur Technologies are available on Google Play and Apple iTunes. The apps show payments, transaction history and card details. The service requires a RON 95 registration fee (around EUR 21.50) and a RON 95 annual subscription.

For products priced under RON 100 in Romania or around EUR 20 in other countries, ING customers are no longer required to enter their PIN code. If users want to purchase products priced over RON 100 or EUR 20, they will need to enter a PIN code on the phone to authorize the transaction. Alternatively, the app can be set to require a PIN code by default.

Several other players already offer mobile payment services. Orange Romania started accepting bill payments. The app, which was launched by MasterCard in cooperation with local payments processing company Netopia MobilPay, can be accessed by customers who have Android or iOS smartphones and is available for download at no extra cost from Google Play and App Store.

Vodafone is testing NFC in a number of markets, but not in Romania. Deutsche Telekom, which is present through the Cosmote brand, has announced it will launch a m-wallet in 2014. The mobile app will be called 'My Wallet' and will be linked to users' bank cards.

Romania’s Garanti Bank is also deploy a m-wallet developed by Swedish payment service provider Seamless. Payment is initiated by scanning a QR code printed on the item or invoice.

The lack of legacy financial services infrastructure may be an advantage in Romania, encouraging more innovation in mobile payments, but it also means the installed base is growing slowly. At this point, the number of contactless terminals at point of sale in Romania is small.

According to local newspaper Ziarul Financiar, BRD Bank has issued 100,000 cards so far, based on Mastercard’s PayWave technology, while NFC cards are accepted in 3,000 locations. Some supermarkets, pharmacies and food chains accept NFC.

The contactless cards can also be used in public transport in some areas, including the underground in the capital Bucharest. However, SMS payment is also possible in public transport, with billing supported by all the mobile operators.



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