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The joint venture is called Buyster, and Atos Origin’s Worldline subsidiary, which specializes in electronic payment services, has also joined to help make it a reality.
The service will be free and available to cell phone users, irrespective of their operator. The launch is planned for the middle of 2011. So far, there are no short-term plans for a launch outside of France, the spokeswoman said.
Buyster is still in the process of being incorporated, and its status as a payment institution still hasn’t been granted by the French central bank, Banque de France, it said.
A similar JV called Isis was formed in the US by AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless in November 2010. Isis’ partners in the payments sector are Discover Card and Barclaycard U.S.