Russia's four biggest operators are launching their first joint NFC commercial project, while Orange has launched an NFC m-payments service in France.
 
MTS, Megafon, VimpelCom and Rostelecom have signed a deal with digital security company Oberthur for digital "dragonFly" NFC SIM cards that will enable consumers to pay for tickets with their mobile phone on transport in the city of Kazan.
 
The SIMs, which come embedded transport and payment applets, are compatible with Kazan's current MIFARE-based ticketing product, Transport Card.
 
France-based Oberthur said some of the operators are also choosing to embed the SIMs with other NFC payment services.
 
Thierry Siminger, RMEA President at Oberthur Technologies, commented: "We are very proud to participate in this unique NFC launch in Russia with the four major Russian mobile operators to provide modern and convenient access to public transportation for all."
 
 
Last month, VimpleCom said mobile financial services were a key focus as it looks to improve its net cash position.
 
In France, meanwhile, Orange announced the commercial launch of an NFC payment service based on Visa Europe technology in Strasbourg and Caen.
 
The Orange Cash application acts as a “mobile purse”, taking the form of a Visa prepaid card on a phone. 
 
It is based on a prepaid account that customers can top up via any debit or credit bank card once they download the Orange Cash app.
 
The France-based operator said customers will have access to exclusive offers from a number of popular French retailers who can be located by using the app's GPS function.
 
Orange Deputy CEO and Senior Executive Vice President of Orange France Delphine Ernotte Cunci the service will be rolled out throughout the country the year.
 
Gérard Nébouy, Executive Director of Visa Europe France, added: "The strategic partnership between Visa Europe and Orange is extremely important in order to support the growth of mobile payments. Our agreement will allow consumers to enjoy all the benefits of Orange's expertise and Visa’s technologies in a local, trusted and secure environment.”
 
The latest news follows a number of other m-payments announcements over the past week.
  
On Tuesday, Vodafone announced it is boosting its m-payments platform M-Pesa after signing a deal with global money transfer and payment services firm MoneyGram.
 
Last Friday, meanwhile, the UK's three largest mobile operators signed a deal with Mastercard in a bid to accelerate the development of contactless m-payments.
 
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