Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Card Payments in Turkey: Trends in contactless and mobile payments

This is the last part of a two-part series about card payments in Turkey.  The first part of the series provided a market overview.  This post looks at trends in contactless and mobile payments.
When it comes to contactless space, Turkey is the second country in Turkey after the UK. Number of contactless credit cards have almost reach % 6 of the total number and it seems that the growth will continue. Garanti Bank leads the market here and there are unconfirmed plans that they will migrate all the card portfolio into contactless cards.

Contactless reader penetration is also quite impressive. For example, when you go for a coffee in a Starbucks, you will see a contactless card reader attached to the POS terminal. If your bill is less than 35 TL (20 EUR) you have the option to pay it via your contactless credit card without PIN or signature. Total transaction lasts no more than 30 seconds ,including the paperwork.

Unlike many other Western countries, in Turkey, banks own the POS terminals, so the migration was smooth. Current infrastructure did not change, only the external contactless readers have been deployed. OTI and Verifone (Vivotech) covers almost all the market, but Sagem (now Ingenico) has built in contactless readers –along with external readers, as well.

There are also NFC pilot projects from Turkcell with Garanti Bank and Akbank. Turkish Interbank Card Association (BKM) is working on handling the TSM role for NFC for a group of banks’ initiative. 2 (Turkcell and Avea) out of 3 (Vodafone) mobile network operators have active projects for NFC.

Note: The views expressed here by Mr Burak Ilgicioglu are purely personal and does not reflect his company's stand or viewpoint.

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