Perhaps this is a demonstration as to how the lines between banks and telecommunication companies are starting to blur? SFR has become the first telecommunications operator in France to launch a prepaid and reload contactless card PayPass™. SFR PayCard is also the first prepaid card with the MasterCard® PayPass™ technology in the country. Available during October, SFR PayCard will be usable by all mobile phone users – whether you are a SFR customer or not.
The company say the card will enable consumers to pay their transactions in 34.3 million locations of MasterCard’s network, in France and abroad, as well as online or in-store. This card offers the option to withdraw money from all ATMs in France and from the international Mastercard network. It will be priced at €14.90 and valid for one year. The new PayCard does not require opening a bank account and can be recharged by cash, credit card or by bank transfer free. The card will be available on the website sfrpaycard.fr at its launch and to most of newsdealers in France.
SFR describe this a great three-in-one product, combining innovative, smart and competitive;
The company says that by utilizing MasterCard PayPass™ technology, this contactless card is the first step towards mobile payment. The SFR PayCard enables tap & go TM payments at nearly 500,000 PayPass™ readers worldwide. The mobile application (Android, iOS) and SMS alerts allow the cardholder to monitor in real time their transactions; payments, withdrawals, recharged process, balance, etc. The card is also competitive; by recharging the card by a free bank transfer or by a money transfer between two SFR PayCards for use in France and abroad, at a cost of 1€.
SFR PayCard targets people without a credit card such as students whose family or relatives finance part of their expenses, people using international money transfers between two SFR PayCards at an affordable price, as well as to those who want to differentiate their online purchases.
With SFR PayCard, SFR say they are demonstrating their willingness to invest in the payment market by offering their first physical payment service. SFR’s say their strategic approach to this new sector is in answer to consumer feedback. In keeping with a study from Ifop2 (for Wincor Nixdorf) published at the end of 2011, 45% of French consumers said they would like a prepaid reload card and 42% would like a contactless payment card.
Back in July this year, Mastercard and SFR signed an agreement to develop a contactless NFC SIM card for fully-fledged mobile payments. SFR Paycard is the first step of payment services from SFR. The company say that this card, by integrating PayPass ™ technology, will help spread awareness and familiarity for the use of this technology.
SFR says it will start issuing its first NFC-ready SIM cards in 2013.