* Three banks, three phone firms sign letter of intent
* Expect phone-based payments by 2012
* To set up joint venture
AMSTERDAM, Sept 9 The Netherlands's three
largest banks and the three largest mobile phone operators in
the country said they had signed a letter of intent to let
people pay for goods and services nationwide with their phones.
By 2012, people will be able to hold their phones against a
point-of-sale terminal in shops and pay using ultra-short
distance wireless communications and secure data stored inside
the phone, the six groups said in a joint statement.
The banks are Rabobank [RABO.UL], ING ING.AS and ABN AMRO
[ABRGPA.UL], and the mobile operators are KPN (KPN.AS), Vodafone
(VOD.L) and Deutsche Telekom's (DTEGn.DE) T-Mobile.
The companies said they would set up a joint venture for the
program, adding it was the first time in Europe banks and mobile
operators had joined together to collectively enable mobile
The system's platform will use wireless standard NFC
(near-field communication), which transmits over a few
centimetres, rather than the mobile network. Secure payment
software will be on the phone's SIM card.
The system is not new, however its use has been limited so
far to Japan and some testing in the United States by banks and
(Reporting by Ben Berkowitz; Editing by Karen Foster)