Waterloo (Belgium) and Villepinte (France), Tuesday 7 December 2010 – MasterCard, Gemalto, Garanti Bank and Turkish mobile phone operator Avea have joined forces to launch the official roll-out of Turkey’s first NFC initiative involving an antenna equipped SIM card mobile phone payment functionality. 

Turkish consumers will be the first in the world to have the opportunity to make their mobile phones compatible with NFC (Near Field Communication) technology via an N-flex SIM card which carries a flexible NFC antenna. 

The solution, supported by MasterCard PayPass™ technology is first introduced in Turkey with Avea and Garanti Bank launching a nationwide awareness and activation campaign. 

Over a million Garanti bank cardholders currently benefit from the bank’s Trink contactless programme for Tap&Go™ payments across the country. This new programme is designed to help many of these customers extend the range of devices for these PayPass enabled transactions to their mobile phone through the purchase of the specially adapted SIM card from any participating Avea store – and the simple replacement of their existing SIM card for this PayPass enabled version.   

The launch of the BonusluAvea programme from Avea and Garanti bank will enable consumers wanting to use their mobile phone for MasterCard Tap&Go™ payments at over 35,000 PayPass merchant locations in Turkey and at 265,000 locations around the world. In Turkey, the programme can also be used for public transport ticketing (bus/underground/ferry and train) as well as for access to sports stadiums. In the near future these contactless transactions will extend to other traditionally cash-dependent services, such as vending machines and for the Istanbul KGS (highway) toll. 

BonusluAvea customers will also be able to benefit from digital coupons sent to their phones to earn instant discounts and gifts – part of the consumer marketing roll-out campaign designed to support the launch. 

Launching the new initiative at a press conference at the CARTES exhibition and smart-card conference in Villepinte, Paris, MasterCard’s Global Head of Emerging Products, Ed McLaughlin said: “Mobile payments has shifted from concept to reality and I’m proud that MasterCard, together with our partners here today, can be among the first in the world to demonstrate how great ideas can not only be a commercial reality – but more importantly – a tangible benefit for today’s consumer.”  

Quotes from all partners

James Davlouros, Vice President, Innovative Solutions Europe, MasterCard Worldwide commented: “The electronic payment sector – and primarily payments through mobile  handsets – is growing at a fast pace and all our research indicates that in the very near future, mobile phone payments will have a very significant place among all payment methods.  This innovative implementation with MasterCard, Garanti, Avea and Gemalto is a big step to enable consumers to use their existing mobile phones for payments and this excellent collaboration will accelerate the development of NFC technology in Turkey and in the region.”  

Erkan Akdemir, CEO Avea, commented: “Today we celebrate the launch of this revolutionary initiative in mobile payment systems, tried and tested by Turkish consumers since May of this year. 

“We have put the needs of the consumer at the centre of this project and central to our message to them is their ability to leverage contactless technology without having to change their mobile phone. Once again, we are breaking new ground in an important collaboration with Garanti Bank and MasterCard under our  “BonusluAvea” Mobile Wallet system concept. Through new technology such as this, we believe we can help to simplify the everyday lives of consumers and contribute towards a radical change in consumer behaviour. We look forward to driving this solution into the marketplace and plan to cooperate with other banks to ensure that such a solution can be used to benefit as many consumers as possible.” 

Mehmet Sezgin, CEO at Garanti Payment Systems, said “Garanti Bank has a history of innovation leadership in payment solutions. In 2006, we launched Europe’s first PayPass contactless payment with our Trink  programme.  We also developed the first ever interim mobile payment solution, the Trink-enabled smart sticker. Thanks to the knowledge and experience we gained while working on such projects, we are able to be the first bank to launch an NFLEX solution in the world, enabling Turkish consumers to make their mobile phones compatible with NFC (Near Field Communication) technology. Now consumers can choose to include their mobile phone for greater convenience in faster and efficient payments at over 35,000 tap&go™’ terminals in Turkey (and 265,000 terminals around the world) for transportation, football and cinema tickets and fast food, with the choice between a credit or prepaid functionality”. 

Philippe Cambriel, Executive Vice President, Secure Transactions Business Unit, Gemalto commented:Gemalto is proud to collaborate with Avea, Garanti Bank and MasterCard to enable mobile contactless services in Turkey. ‘Going mobile’ is the natural next step in the way people conduct payments, and Gemalto’s N-Flex provides the technology bridge to realise this evolution. The contactless infrastructure is in place and consumers are ready and we are therefore delighted that Garanti Bank and Avea can now smoothly incorporate mobile NFC payment functionality into their customers’ daily lives.” 

About Garanti Payment Systems  

Established in 1999 by GarantiBank with the vision of developing systems that will replace cash, Garanti Payments Systems Inc. (GPS), as the fastest and most efficient product developer of the credit card market, provides services in the areas of chip-based multi- or joint-brand card programmes, commercial cards, virtual cards, marketing of businesses and e-commerce. 

Setting trends in the industry with its projects, GPS is constantly enhancing its products and services. Resourceful and visionary, GPS has a marketing-focused team and is a leader in innovation and a pioneer in many areas both in Turkey and on international platforms. 

Having the largest range of products in Turkey as a consequence of its endeavour to cater to diverse needs through the most appropriate product, Garanti, with its 8 million cards consisting of Bonus, Flexi,Money, Shop&Miles, American Express and commercial credit cards, is the bank wielding the highest number of plastic cards in the country. When virtual cards and bank cards are included in the total, Garanti manages a portfolio of cards surpassing 13 million. Having completed 2009 as a leader in the areas of the number of plastic cards, turnover from international operations, domestic and international acquiring turnover, international and domestic shopping turnover, international and domestic debit card shopping turnover. 

About Avea 

Avea, the youngest and the fastest-growing mobile communications operator in Turkey, was founded in 2004 as the first and only GSM 1800 operator in the country. The company delivers innovative and premium services to customers through sophisticated infrastructure and investments in technology. Currently ranking first in terms of minutes of use per subscriber among all GSM operators in Turkey, Avea boasts a subscriber base of 11.5 million as of the third quarter of 2010.  Having roaming agreements with 625 operators across 199 countries, the company is an affiliate of the Turkish Telecom (Turk Telekom A.S.). Currently Turk Telekom holds 81.37% of the shares in Avea, with the remaining 18.63% shares owned by İs Bankasi. www.avea.com.tr

About Gemalto

 Gemalto (Euronext NL 0000400653 GTO) is the world leader in digital security with 2009 annual revenues of €1.65 billion, and over 10 thousand employees operating out of 75 offices, with research and service centers in 41 countries. 

Gemalto is at the heart of our evolving digital society. The freedom to communicate, travel, shop, bank, entertain, and work—anytime, anywhere—has become an integral part of what people want and expect, in ways that are convenient, enjoyable and secure. 

Gemalto delivers on the growing demands of billions of people worldwide for mobile connectivity, identity and data protection, credit card safety, health and transportation services, e-government and national security. We do this by supplying to governments, wireless operators, banks and enterprises a wide range of secure personal devices, such as subscriber identification modules (SIM) in mobile phones, smart banking cards, electronic passports, and USB tokens for online identity protection. To complete the solution we also provide software, systems and services to help our customers achieve their goals. As the use of Gemalto’s software and secure devices increases with the number of people interacting in the digital and wireless world, the company is poised to thrive over the coming years. For more information please visit www.gemalto.com.

About MasterCard Worldwide  

As a leading global payments company, MasterCard Worldwide prides itself on being at the heart of commerce, helping to make life easier and more efficient for everyone, everywhere. MasterCard serves as a franchisor, processor and advisor to the payments industry, and makes commerce happen by providing a critical economic link among financial institutions, governments, businesses, merchants, and cardholders worldwide. In 2009, $2.5 trillion in gross dollar volume was generated on its products by consumers around the world. Powered by the MasterCard Worldwide Network – the fastest payment processing network in the world – MasterCard processes over 22 billion transactions each year, has the capacity to handle 140 million transactions per hour, with an average network response time of 140 milliseconds and with 99.99 percent reliability. MasterCard advances global commerce through its family of brands, including MasterCard®, Maestro®, and Cirrus®; its suite of core products such as credit, debit, and prepaid; and its innovative platforms and functionalities, such as MasterCard PayPass™ and MasterCard inControl™. MasterCard serves consumers, governments, and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. For more information, please visit us at www.mastercard.com. Follow us on Twitter: @mastercardnews. 

Editors Note

NFC Technology 

Garanti Bank and Avea are initiating a new era in payment systems with Near Field Communication (NFC) technology. It has been developed with support from MasterCard and Gemalto and eliminates the need to purchase NFC-compatible mobile phones. 

For the first time in the world users convert their existing mobile phones to become compatible with NFC technology with a new Avea SIM card. As a result of this innovation, Avea users will be able make contactless payments using the Trink feature from Garanti. This new technology has two options: credit and pre-payment. Customers will also be able to choose with which credit card they prefer to make payments. In cities where Trink is used for transportation, the new generation NFC will be usable on public transport and at numerous other locations, such as building entrances, stadiums and vending machines. If desired, Avea users will also be able to load the KGS feature on their mobile phones in the same way as other applications.

Press Contact – Louise Herbert (+32 (0)498 58 56 47 / louise_herbert@mastercard.com)