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27 August 2012

Estonia is to test replacing bankcards with mobile phone SIM cards

A pilot project is to be launched for testing an innovative payment solution where the functions of the bankcard chip will be lifted on the chip of mobile phone’s SIM card.

As a result of the project, bank clients may be able to make their everyday card payments via mobile phones instead of using the regular plastic cards.

The pilot project is the next stage for a ten-month feasibility study whereby Eliko Tehnoloogia Arenduskeskus and EMT searched for options for using the NFC technology in Estonia.

NFC (Near Field Communication) is technology that makes it possible to execute contactless authentication and payment solutions that operate in radio frequency near field with the help of a special chip. The objective of the pilot project is to test the creation of a contactless virtual bankcard in one’s mobile phone, the security standards and user interface of a mobile wallet that contains bankcards as well as forwarding payments made with virtual bankcards through the currently used infrastructure.

The pilot project will be carried out with a limited range of users in January 2013 and it will lead to decisions to be made for opening the commercial service for end users.

The pilot project will be carried out by the Estonian branch of Danske Bank A/S (Sampo Bank), OÜ Eliko Tehnoloogia Arenduskeskus, AS EMT, the Estonian branch of Nordea Bank Plc, AS SEB Bank and Swedbank AS.

The strategic partner for the pilot project for supplying secure SIM cards that comply with standards set for bankcards is Oberthur Technologies.