German operator E-Plus launched a mobile payments service which enables a section of its subscribers to use a virtual pre-paid card for transactions in shops and restaurants.

The operator initially offered the service to post-paid customers of its core Base brand. Later it plans to offer the same service to other E-Plus customers.

A pre-paid MasterCard Maestro debit card, which is provided by German firm Wirecard, is used for NFC-based transactions via smartphone. Another digital card also supplied by Wirecard is available for online transactions. The digital cards are carried in a mobile wallet.

A physical card is available for payments in outlets without a NFC-enabled point-of-sale terminal.

German firm G&D supplied secure SIM cards to store the digital Maestro card, as well as a data centre where E-Plus installs payment apps on the SIMs.

The service is called Base Wallet.