MasterCard Inc. and a major wireless carrier in the Netherlands will join three Dutch banks in reviving a Near Field Communication-based mobile payment test that was nearly three years in the making.

Wireless carrier KPN will provide the network for the NFC-enabled smartphone test with ING, ABN Amro and Rabobank in the Netherlands.

In the pilot program in September, the banks are offering a mobile wallet to a group of 1,000 individuals in Leiden in the Netherlands for what they called a “soft launch.”

Participants have received a Samsung Galaxy Express mobile phone with their bank’s payments application for the test. The consumers each have at least one account with one of the three participating banks, the banks state in a press release.

Consumers will make mobile payment purchases at 150 participating merchant locations throughout Leiden, the banks say.

The banks will conduct the test as part of a venture called Mobile Payment Netherlands.

ING, ABN Amro and Rabobank represent the last banks in what was originally called the “Sixpack” of Dutch banks and carriers that initially came together in late 2010 to create the infrastructure for smartphone payments within the country by 2012.

The group, as originally structured, disbanded in 2012, but the initiative got new life when the remaining three banks launched the mobile payments test with fewer participants, the banks say.

Each bank will perform its own assessment of the NFC-based pilot in order to develop individual strategies for mobile payments.

Late last year, MasterCard and ING partnered to test EMV-compliant mobile payments for online transactions in the Netherlands with the hope to expand the service this year.

Two months ago, six banks in Poland announced a mobile payments venture designed to establish national standards. Unlike the Dutch initiative, which includes MasterCard, the Polish venture ties the consumer’s mobile payments to bank accounts instead of a credit card account. 

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