Swisscom is the first of Switzerland’s three major operators to launch a new m-payments service called Tapit, which has seen cooperation from financial groups.
Tapit is a shared platform between Swisscom, which has been the main developer, Orange and Sunrise.
Initially, Tapit will enable cashless payments in shops in Switzerland and abroad using Visa credit cards and prepaid cards issued by credit card company Cornèrcard.
Swisscom likened it to a wallet in which customer can keep various credit, prepaid and debit cards, loyalty cards and access cards.
According to the incumbent, a sharp increase in the number of m-payment compatible smartphones and shop terminals means that “the time is right” for launch.
While Swisscom launched Tapit yesterday, the service will be available to Orange and Sunrise customers “at a later point” this year.
The service is available on Android phones only with an iPhone version “still in development”.
Over 50,000 shops, including the country’s largest retail chain Migros, now accept contactless payments, Swisscom said.
Tapit can also be used as an employee ID badge for entering buildings anywhere this function is supported.
Swisscom promised that the service will be improved “on an ongoing basis” thanks to cooperation from the financial sector.
It said MasterCard cards from payments company the Aduno Group and banking group UBS are currently being developed.
In addition, retailer Coop has promised to give its customers the opportunity to collect Supercard points via Tapit from mid-2015.
Operators in Europe have struggled to get m-payments services off the ground. For example, O2 closed its wallet service in the UK earlier this year.
However, Vodafone has announced the launch of its successful M-Pesa service in Romania.
Weve, the joint venture between EE, O2 and Vodafone in the UK, said in February that it will work with Mastercard to build a contactless platform.
Last November, Telecom Italia and Visa Europe signed a deal to make m-payment services available to more than 31 million in Italy.
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