German operator hints that search giant could join Mastercard on its SIM-based NFC payments app.
Yesterday Deutsche Telekom confirmed a deal with the credit card firm on a contactless payments trial, prompting immediate speculation that it could work with other partners.
Now, Thomas Kiessling, the company’s head of innovation, has said as much. “We’re talking to other players in the market, and even a cooperation with Google is theoretically possible,” he said.
“We’re in talks there as well."
Google, of course, runs the NFC-based Google Wallet service in the US and is looking for use NFC as a means to connect is web merchants with the physical high street.
Intriguingly it was one of the firms that objected to the 'monopolistic' proposed UK cross operator payments concept, 'Project Oscar'. Maybe it's less worried about Deutsche Telekom.
Yesterday's deal puts a wallet in Deutsche Telekom NFC phones that can be loaded up with Mastercard credit and be used to pay at the latter's PayWave terminals. The secure element in the chip is held in the phone's SIM.
It will launch first in Poland, but eventually be targeted at the operator's 93m European customers.
The trial adds to the confusion around mobile wallets, with a large number of different offerings emerging. Some use the SIM, some the handset, others use an SD card or a case. Some prefer QR codes or event text to enable payments.
But was unapologetic about adding to the messiness.
“In many areas you shouldn’t wait for standardisation, because that’s how the telcos missed a series of innovations over the past 10 years,”he said.
“We tried to standardise advanced messaging globally and in the end other industries were faster.”