Itaú Unibanco, Brazil’s second-largest bank by assets, has teamed up with the Rio de Janeiro-based telecoms operator TIM Brasil for a mobile payment pilot scheme.
According to TIM, the pilot will use a test group of 50 people paying bills via smartphone at MasterCard PayPass terminals in more than 100 restaurants, coffee shops and local stores in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.
TIM said the main objective of the pilot was to gain knowledge about the technology, train internal employees and look at the challenges of a larger rollout.
The service is set to be rolled out to Itaú Unibanco customers in the second half of 2013, depending on the success of the project.
Digital security company Gemalto will provide NFC SIMs for handsets and its Trusted Service Management (TSM) platform for the project.
Fernando Teles, credit card director, Itaú Unibanco, said: "Technology, infrastructure and consumer awareness of contactless payment are poised for tremendous growth in Brazil.
"Gemalto’s proven NFC technology increases agility in payment systems and will help to transform consumers’ relationship with their banks, mobile devices and operators, energising the marketplace in Brazil."
Roger Solé, chief marketing officer of TIM Brazil, said: "TIM has innovation as a strategic pillar and the technology promises to be an important evolution of mobile which will bring greater convenience to our customers."