Telefónica Deutschland introduces mpass; mobile payments finally hit Germany.

Telefónica Deutschland has launched the mobile payment system mpass in Germany, starting with star petrol stations in Hamburg, where customers can now pay contactlessly by mobile phone. All they need is a sticker with an NFC chip, which they attach to their mobile phone. The available app ensures full cost control. By the end of the year contactless payment will be available in O2 shops throughout Germany and in Conrad Electronic stores in Munich.

Instead of using cash or a card, customers of star petrol stations can now use their mobile phones to pay. Whether paying for fuel or snacks for the journey, all it takes is a quick swipe at the payment terminal and the cost is billed using mpass.

“From now on our customers can pay for their purchases using their mobiles,” says Michiel van Eldik, Managing Director Wholesale & Partner Management, Telefónica Deutschland. “The expansion of our product portfolio with contactless payments in shops takes us a big step forward, which means our ecosystem of financial products is almost complete. The use of MasterCard PayPass and the collaboration with Wirecard represent an important step in this regard. In short, our mPass customers benefit when out shopping from an extensive network of points at which this type of contactless payment is accepted — both in Germany and worldwide.”

Customers register at www.mpass.de/o2 to get an mpass account. Once the details have been entered into the system, a sticker with an NFC (Near Field Communication) chip is automatically sent out. Once attached to the mobile phone, the phone is ready for buying via “tap & go”. The mobile payment system works in all shops displaying the MasterCard PayPass logo.

Mobile payment limits for Germany have been set at 25 Euros or under. Two options are available for German customers when it comes to settling their accounts; either pay via direct debit from their current account or by adding credit via a bank transfer to the mpass account that they opened on registration. Full cost control is provided by the app that informs customers when they complete a purchase. Besides an overview of all transactions, it also shows pending amounts for purchases already made but not yet billed and the current balance. Top-up options for the mpass account are also explained. What makes it really convenient is that customers see an overview of other shops near them that accept mpass payments. The app is available free of charge in the Google Play Store and till the end of the year also in the App Store for iPhones.

To begin with, customers will receive a five-Euro credit on their mpass account, when shopping at participating star petrol stations in the Hamburg area as well as in the Conrad Electornics stores in Munich for the first time. In addition to star petrol stations, O2 Shops and Conrad Electronic stores, the mpass can be used at thousands of other participating stores. These include nationwide outlets such as the Vapiano restaurant chain, the Douglas Group with Douglas Perfumeries, Thalia, Christ, AppelrathCüpper and Hussel and also an increasing number of branches of the supermarket chains real, HIT and Edeka. Customers can also benefit from mpass when travelling further afield, with some 500,000 PayPass points worldwide, 100,000 of them in Europe alone.

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Author:Steve Atkins

Steve Atkins is the main contributor and Editor in Chief of Contactless Intelligence – covering contactless, NFC, mobile and cloud-based technologies. Even with almost twenty five years of experience in the high tech industry, he is still fascinated with all kinds of technology and the impact it has upon end users. He is currently based in Berlin, Germany.

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