Showing posts with label Mobile Payment. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mobile Payment. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

NBK Partners with Visa and Zain to Launch the First EMV-Chip Compliant NFC Mobile Payment Trial in the Middle East

20 Oct 2009 23:08 Africa/Lagos

NBK Partners with Visa and Zain to Launch the First EMV-Chip Compliant NFC Mobile Payment Trial in the Middle East

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Oct. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), the largest bank in Kuwait and Visa Inc, the world's leading payment solution provider have partnered with Zain the leading telecommunications operator across the Middle East and Africa to launch the first Near Field Communication (NFC) mobile payment trial in the GCC, using NFC enabled Nokia 6212 devices.

The six month pilot will take place from October 2009 to April 2010 using NFC software technology provided by ViVOtech. Registration will be open from October 2009 for interested NBK customers to participate in the trial. To register for the trial, customers will visit NBK website and follow the registration instructions.

The trial will allow 500 selected NBK cardholders to download their Zain Visa credit card account details directly to their Nokia 6212 classic handset over the Zain network. Once the account has been personalized on the phone, customers can then begin to make purchases at any one of the 100 merchant partner outlets at Kuwait's largest mall, The Avenues by simply passing a Nokia mobile phone over the Visa payWave reader at the point of sale. The trial uses the same EMV technology which protects all NBK credit and debit cards.

There are three milestone innovations occurring within this trial. The concept of 'smart posters' will be introduced to consumers, allowing them to collect retail offers that can be immediately redeemed for purchases at partner outlets simply by tapping their mobile phone against the poster. Secondly, customers and trial participants will be able to download a free Visa prepaid card by tapping the phone on a smart poster. Thirdly, participants with a credit card and a pre paid card, will also have the option to choose to pay from either cards from their phone at the point of sale, allowing greater on the go flexibility and convenience.

Purchases will be charged directly to the customer's NBK Zain Visa credit card or Visa prepaid card account just as they would be with a traditional card payment. Payments initiated with a mobile phone benefit from the same security as all NBK Visa card transactions, making mobile payWave a fast, reliable and secure method of purchasing goods. ViVOtech, the market leader in contactless/NFC payment software, is providing the underlying technology, including the NFC wallet, over-the-air (OTA) card provisioning software, smart posters and the mobile coupon application.

Shaikha Khalid Al Bahar, NBK Deputy Chief Executive Officer said, "NBK is proud to launch the first EMV Chip compliant NFC Visa payWave mobile payment trial in the Middle East. We strive to offer the best and most comprehensive financial services to all our customers, as well as being at the forefront adopting cutting edge technology to enhance services and develop innovative products. Partnering with Visa and Zain has given us a strong platform from which to launch this innovative mobile payWave payment trial for our customers. We are pleased that our customers can benefit from the ease and convenience of paying for their everyday items with their everyday device and also enjoy dynamic retail offers through smart posters while still enjoying the same level of security that a NBK Visa card transaction provides".

Kamran Siddiqi General Manager for GCC, Levant, Iraq and Pakistan from Visa said, "As the shift from cash to electronic payment methods continues, Visa is extending its products and services through the mobile channel to deliver fast, efficient and safe mobile payments and related services. We are very excited to have partnered with NBK and Zain to introduce this first trial in the GCC market and are looking forward to deploying it to NBK customers in Kuwait. Recent Visa market research reveals that nearly 80% of Kuwaitis polled were very interested in the idea of having mobile payWave on their phones. We therefore believe that the NBK Visa mobile payWave will appeal to Kuwaiti consumers who are eager to adopt new innovations and technology which brings greater convenience and choice to their lives.

Khalid AlHajery, CEO of Zain Kuwait, said: "This exclusive agreement is in line with Zain's ongoing effort to offer the best and the latest technology to its growing customer base. Mobile phones are no longer merely devices for making and receiving calls, instead continuous investment in innovation has meant that mobile phones are increasingly becoming a platform for new technology such as proximity payments".

Through this pilot, NBK, Visa and Zain will gather user insight across a wide range of parameters that include customer acceptance of making contactless transactions through mobile NFC, customer card preference between credit and Visa prepaid while making a payment and tracking of response to NFC-enabled smart posters and coupon redemptions.

About National Bank of Kuwait (NBK):

NBK was founded in 1952 as the first indigenous bank and the first joint stock company in Kuwait and the Gulf Region. NBK reported profits of USD 925 million (KD 255 million) for 2008, among the highest in the Arab world. NBK's total assets were USD 43.4 billion (KD 12 billion) at the end of 2008, while shareholder equity stood at USD 5.2 billion (KD 1.4 billion).

NBK is by far the largest financial institution in Kuwait with effective market dominance in the commercial banking market and has been consistently awarded the highest credit rating of all banks in the region from Moody's, Standard & Poor's, and Fitch Ratings. NBK also stands out in terms of its local and international network, which includes branches, subsidiaries and representative offices in China, Geneva, London, Paris, New York, Singapore, and Vietnam alongside its regional presence in Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the UAE.

About Visa:

Visa operates the world's largest retail electronic payments network providing processing services and payment product platforms. This includes consumer credit, debit, prepaid and commercial payments, which are offered under the Visa, Visa Electron, Interlink and PLUS brands. Visa enjoys unsurpassed acceptance around the world and Visa/PLUS is one of the world's largest global ATM networks, offering cash access in local currency in more than 170 countries. For more information, visit

About Zain

Zain is a leading telecommunications operator across the Middle East and Africa providing mobile voice and data services to 69.5 million active customers as at 30 June 2009. In terms of country footprint, Zain is the 3rd largest mobile operator in the world with a commercial presence in 24 countries.

Zain operates in the following countries: Bahrain, Burkina Faso, Chad, the Republic of the Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Malawi, Madagascar, Niger, Nigeria, Palestine (currently known as Paltel Group), Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. In Lebanon, the company manages 'mtc-touch' on behalf of the government. In Morocco, Zain owns 31% of Wana Telecom through a joint venture.

Zain offers innovative services in its markets such as 'One Network', the world's first borderless mobile telecommunications network enabling customers when abroad to receive calls and sms without charge and to make voice and data calls at local rates throughout 20 countries in Africa and the Middle East. This service allows a customer to top up airtime in one's home country or from more than 1,000,000 outlets within Zain's One Network footprint.

The Zain brand is wholly owned by Mobile Telecommunications Company KSC, which is listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange (Stock ticker: ZAIN). Zain is listed in the Financial Times' Global 500 Index which ranks the world's largest companies based on market capitalization ( Zain aims to become one of the top ten mobile operators in the world by end of the year 2011. For more, please visit or email

Source: ViVOtech

CONTACT: Kristin Miller of SSPR, +1-719-634-8292,, for

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