OK, OK, everyone settle down. So the long-awaited Nice pilot is about to be launched on the 21st May. This we already knew, but the latest buzz is about the name under which it will be launched – Cityzi. Don’t ask us how to pronounce it. Every time we try it come out in a heavy French accent – which is perhaps the point? Who knows?
The pilot is being coordinated by the Association Française pour le Sans Contact Mobile (AFSCM), and will include MNO’s such as Orange, Bouygues Télécom and SFR and transportation company Veolia who run the city public transportation system. Banks included in the pilot are Crédit Mutuel, Société Généraleand BNP Paribas. The Nice city council is also heavily involved in the pilot but are keen to point out that this pilotl is about how businesses and consumers will react to this new contactless technology in a real-world scenario.
Please note that I said contactless technology and not NFC. This is because there is almost no mention of the famous three-letter abbreviation. Sources at Forum des Services Mobiles Sans Contact (FSMSC) told us that the ‘N-Mark’ was never considered because it is just not well-known enough – NFC still doesn’t mean much to the man in the street. There is also no ability to attach products and services to the ‘N-Mark’ itself.
The ‘Cityzi’ logo is there to help brand the products associated with the pilot allowing people to ask for a ‘Cityzi-capable mobile’ and knowing that once they have the device, all corresponding services are included. Technology branding? Local service branding? Product branding? Or perhaps all three rolled into one. There is a great website; cityzi.fr with some cool little videos to show how to use the new technology/product for shops, transport etc. And as always, a wave of logo’s to show potential users of the services where to interact contactlessly. (See above)
The logos show if the service is compatible with AFSCM specifications, cash tills logos for pay here with contactless, target marks for ‘hold here’ and an icon displayed on the consumer’s mobile device, allowing quick access to the list of Cityzi applications stored on the handset. Not one NFC logo anywhere.
Our camera will be in Nice, or ‘Cityzi’ in June to see how things are progressing, so look out for that.