2Degrees Ties up with GE Capital to launch trial of NFC based Mobile Wallet

The mobile market is expected to grow to $721 Bn by 2017 according to Gartner estimates. Its no wonder that everyone from big players like PayPal, Google, ISIS to startups such as ZooZ, Clutch, Corduro and CloudZync are all rushing to grab a share of this market. 2Degrees, a newzealand based company, recently tied up with GE Capital to launch a trial version of their mobile wallet.

2Degrees is a mobile telephony company started by Tex Edwards in the year 2009 in New Zealand. 2 degrees has secured a $165m credit facility from the Bank of New Zealand and reached an agreement with Huwaei to deploy 4G network in early by 2014.

Some features of the Trial:

  • The trial uses NFC technology.

  • It enables participants to load their existing GE Capital credit card on to their 2degrees Samsung Galaxy S3 smartphone.

  • The trial does not require any special accounts or funds to be loaded beforehand onto the phone.

  • The trial which is in collaboration with Gemalto, will run for 3 months with participants giving feedback to monitor the performance at various stages.

Currently more than 10,000 contactless terminals are live in New Zealand which includes retailers like Bunnings, Progressive Enterprises (Countdown), Kmart, Resene, The Warehouse, Repco, BP and Z Energy.

'This trial is an important precursor to the wider industry initiative and allows us to push technology boundaries and test how a credit card and our existing mobile payment system with Snapper will co-exist,' said Malcolm Phillipps, CMO at 2Degrees.

This Trial comes on the back of 2Degrees recent formation of a Trusted Services Manager (TSM NZ) with Paymark, Telecom New Zealand and Vodafone New Zealand.

LTP View: 2Degrees seems to be joining the long list of mobile networks betting on NFC Technology. Their trial differs from others in that participants do not need to pre-load funds onto their phone which could invite more users to try. Even though NFC has been having a hard time lately, Payment pundits argue that its adoption as a payment method is inevitable. With increasing competition in the New Zealand personal finance market, this may have been the perfect time to go ahead with such a mobile wallet venture.