French banks create mobile payments network

A group of French banks and mobile phone companies have created a mobile payments network

PARIS – Seven French retail banks and four of the country’s mobile phone operators have collaborated to create a non-profit association for the creation of an interoperable mobile payments service. The new European Association for Mobile Payment or Association Européenne Payez Mobile (AEPM) has been established after a successful regional deployment.

The initiative includes BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole, Crédit Mutuel, Banque Postale, Caisse d'Epargne, Société Générale and Banque Populaire; Mastercard and Visa are also involved. Positive feedback has resulted in the scheme being expanded into 2009.

A year-long pilot scheme operating in French cities Caen and Strasbourg was overseen by the Secure Electronic Transactions (TES) from November 2007 to gauge customer satisfaction and interoperability with other systems.

Mobile networks involved include Bouygues Télécom, Orange, SFR and NRJ Mobile and handset producers LG, Motorola and Sagem. Payments during the pilot scheme ranged from €0.20 to €250.

AEPM says it has been established to promote wider uptake of the programme and to assist the ongoing work of the French government’s Contactless Mobile Services Forum, sponsored by secretary of state for industry and consumer affairs Luc Chatel.

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