Rabobank plans to deploy Near Field Communication-based mobile payments in the Netherlands.

The Utrecht-based bank will partner with technology provider Giesecke & Devrient for a countrywide launch of the mobile payment system next year.

The bank's customers can apply for a mobile payments account online, which will enable low-value payments through NFC-enabled phones at stores with contactless payment terminals, the bank states in a Nov. 11 press release.

Giesecke & Devrient will operate as Trusted Service Manager, enabling secure transfer of the payment card information to consumers' phones, Rabobank says.

Jeroen Verrijdt, director of payments and savings at Rabobank Nederland, says the bank has seen an increase in the use of smartphones for payments in the country.

"We already have more daily users of mobile banking than we have for Internet banking," Verrijdt states in a press release.

"We plan to follow our customers in these developments and want to focus on smartphone developments as in mobile NFC payments," Verrijdt adds.

In the past two years, a countrywide initiative of six banks in the Netherlands called "Sixpack," seeking a national mobile payment system, slowed down and ultimately disbanded because of economic problems. But a few of the remaining banks, including Rabobank, continued pursuing their own mobile payment projects.

In previous testing of an NFC mobile wallet, Rabobank worked with wireless carrier KPN and the MasterCard payment network.

Last week, German carrier E-Plus Gruppe announced that Munich-based Giesecke & Devrient would also supply the NFC technology for the carrier's mobile wallet launch next year.

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