Finnish operator Elisa is selling stickers at popular convenience store R-kioski in an attempt to drive the popularity of mobile payments.

Users can purchase the rechargeable stickers and attach them to their handsets, so broadening the reach of the operator’s wallet service beyond NFC-based smartphones.

The stickers are enabled with MasterCard’s PayPass technology so are widely accepted at many retail outlets.

The stickers cost €20 but include the same amount pre-loaded so effectively the sticker  is free, said Henri Korpi, vice president of Elisa’s consumer subscription business, via e-mail to Mobile World Live.

Korpi also said contactless payments are now possible in R-kioski stores, adding to three other national retailers where such transactions are possible. These are Lidl, Siwa and Valintatalo.

In addition, several restaurant chains are signed up, as well as hundreds of independent retailers and restaurants.

Korpi declined to share any numbers for mobile payments but said Elisa is “happy with user take-up and especially with usage”. Its initial market has been students and that strategy “seems to be working well”.

The operator plans to widen its scope to other segments quite rapidly, he said

Elisa’s mobile wallet is called Elisa Lompakko. It can be used to make small purchases up to €25 without using a PIN or signing for a purchase, just by placing the payment sticker close to a point-of-sale terminal.

To buy a sticker, users must have a Finnish social security number, a local mobile number and be at least 15 years of age. The stickers work with the handset of any local operator, not just Elisa. The service is activated by sending an SMS.