Dutch banks and carriers to launch NFC in 2013

Mobile network operators KPN and Vodafone have signed a cooperation agreement with bankers ABN Amro, ING and Rabobank — but T-Mobile has pulled out of the ‘Sixpack’ partnership and will follow its own route to market.

Netherlands flag
SIXPACK: Dutch consortium is seeking EC approval

Vodafone, KPN, Rabobank, ABN Amro and ING have signed a cooperation agreement to jointly introduce mobile payments at the checkout in the Netherlands. The move follows the signing of a letter of intent between the five banks and mobile network operators, along with Deutsche Telekom-owned T-Mobile, in September last year.

The partners in the new consortium will now take the initiative to the European Commission in Brussels for approval and say they expect Dutch consumers to be able to begin making payments with their mobile phones in early 2013.

“The consortium was established to develop a user-friendly and secure mobile payment service in the Netherlands,” say the partners. “For reasons of convenience and efficiency it is important that the Netherlands has available an open infrastructure, based on international standards. For technical support a central services organisation (trusted services manager/TSM) will be established. The creation of a legal entity which will host this TSM is in preparation.”

According to a statement by the joint venture partners, “T-Mobile and its parent company Deutsche Telekom strongly believe in the potential of mobile payments, but will decide in a later stage how to bring this service to the market. The other five partners, however, have fully reconfirmed their commitment to the Sixpack initiative.”

Eventually, it will be possible for all Dutch banks, mobile operators and other companies to offer NFC services by connecting to the partners’ TSM, the group explains. “In view of the competitive aspects of collaboration between the biggest banks and mobile operators, the consortium informed the Dutch competition authority (NMa) of the initiative in an early stage.

“In the coming weeks the Sixpack initiative will be notified to the European Commission in view of the requirement to test the founding of the TSM for competition law aspects. It is expected that the EC will communicate her vision in the first quarter of 2012. After that, the consortium can start the actual execution of the plans.”

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