SFR and Mastercard partner to launch “SFR PayCard” in France

The first prepaid and contactless PayPass™ card for payments and withdrawals in France

I thought this was an interesting media release from MasterCard in France regarding their newest twist on integrating NFC into prepaid.

Paris, 24 September 2012 –SFR becomes the first telecommunications operator in France to launch a prepaid and reload contactless card PayPass™. SFR PayCard1 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 (SFR clients or not).

This 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.

Priced at €14.90 and valid for one year, Paycard SFR 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 PayCard meets the consumer needs by offering a product:

An innovative product: with 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;

A smart product: a mobile application (Android, iOS) and SMS alerts allow the cardholder to monitor in real time his transactions: payments, withdrawals, recharged process, balance, etc.;

A competitive product: 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 demonstrates its willingness to invest the payment market by offering its first physical payment service. SFR’s strategy to approach this new sector answers to the expectations of consumers. 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.

SFR PayCard, a new step towards mobile payment

Mastercard and SFR signed in July 2012 an agreement to develop a contactless NFC SIM card for fully-fledged mobile payments. SFR Paycard is the first pack of payment services from SFR. This card, by integrating PayPass ™ technology, will help to democratize the use of this technology. SFR says it will start issuing its first NFC-ready SIM cards in 2013.

SFR has many advantages: secured mobile networks, a recognized brand, a national distribution network, now combined with MasterCard’s expertise in technology and payments.

1WireCard, e-money issuer, manages the SFR PayCard program in the name of SFR

2http://www.ifop.com/media/poll/1746-1-study_file.pdf