French government offers aid to cities who launch mobile contactless payments

iPhone Mobile Payment 100 Euro
Image by monty.metzger via Flickr

A dozen French cities plan to launch wide-scale contactless payment and information service on mobile phones with the backing of the ministry of industry, reports Les Echos. The city projects approved under the initiative will receive state assistance for consultancy and engineering, but no other subsidies are planned at this stage.

These projects tend to include contactless payment for public transportation systems, where there is sufficient demand and a large enough user-base to make them financially viable. The city of Nice is the national pioneer for municipal NFC initiatives and others include Caen and Toulouse. The first started exploring m-payment platforms back in 2005, for applications such as car parking, back in 2005.

Caen has presented a new project in partnership with around 30 large businesses, banks and local authorities. Toulouse has asked several companies to develop a system to manage its car fleet via mobile phones and is studying m-payments for school lunches. The city’s public transport company, Tisseo, is working on swapping users’ travel cards for phone-based contactless payments.

The other cities having presented projects are Agen, Bordeaux, Lille, Marseille, Montpellier, Paris, Pessac, Rennes, Strasbourg, Troyes and the county of Manche. France is subsidising a number of contactless technology projects presented by companies and the country is home to thge Payez Mobile national m-payment system backed by four large mobile operators, six banks and involved the participation of 160 stores and 500 consumers.


Update – 1st November 2010 – from Near Field Communications World

A total of thirteen cities have responded to the French government’s call for proposals for three to five more cities to receive funding to run large scale NFC field trials similar to the Cityzi project running in Nice, according to Le Journal du Net.

The thirteen applicants are the cities of Agen, Bordeaux, Caen, Lille, Marseille, Montpellier, Nice, Paris, Pessac, Rennes, Strasbourg, Toulouse and Troyes plus the la Manche regional council.