11 February 2016

RBS and NatWest begin iPhone NFC case trial

02 October 2012  |  10542 views  |  4 iphone apps on screen

RBS and NatWest have begun a contactless payments trial, giving 1000 customers NFC-enabled iPhone cases ahead of a wider roll out.

For the TouchPay trial, the banks are sending customers a free iCarte case that provides two-way NFC communications from an iPhone 4s and iPhone 4 to Visa PayWave terminals.

Once the cases is attached, users are prompted to follow on-screen instructions to download the TouchPay app from the Apple App Store. They can then use their phone for contactless transactions of up to £20 and track their spending through the app.

RBS first invited customers to sign up for the trial in July and claims to have received 9000 registrations for the 1000 places in just three days. Despite the pilot only beginning today, the bank is already promising to make TouchPay available to all customers with iPhones in the "near future".

Ben Green, head, mobile, RBS, sasy: "TouchPay has proven incredibly popular and shows that our customers want more flexible and convenient ways to pay. Delivered alongside our updated mobile apps, the TouchPay service means that our customers need only carry their smartphone with them to make payments and manage their finances wherever they are."

Comments: (4)

John Dring - Intel Network Services - Swindon | 02 October, 2012, 16:05

This is nowhere near as ubiquitous as the Barclaycard Paytag that you stick to any phone. What about Android users?

All these schemes are simply new formats for existing (NFC) payment cards.  Nothing wrong with that, but not to be confused with 'mobile' payments.

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Raymond Lee - The Logic Group - Reading | 02 October, 2012, 22:35

Take one phone, that has been designed to look the best in the world. It's lightweight, elegant,. stylish. Then add a case that weighs as much if not more than the phone and is thicker, clunkier.. seems to defeat the point really. 

And not sure they mentioned "mobile payments" in the article. Have you seen many merchants take Pingit? Whilst it is available, I've yet to actually make a Pingit payment to a merchant whilst I have used my phone and a contactless card to make many purchases. 

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A Finextra member | 03 October, 2012, 06:05 This is a step in the right direction, for many reasons, and so well done to Nat West. The bulky strap-on is a necessary evil at the moment, but transport the gubbins in the case into the device itself and there we are - proper contactless payments on a mobile phone. Soooooo much better than a sticker ...
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Michael Fuller - None - London | 11 October, 2012, 21:58

I'm confused. Why would you want to run an NFC trial with a phone that doesn't support NFC? Far easier just to make your debit cards contactless or do a trial on phones that do support NFC.

Surely the only additional benefits of using a mobile phone to make contactless payments is where the NFC is integrated and you use the phone software and network capabilities to provide enhanced security or additional services.

Anyone who believes the RBS hype that customers need only carry their smartphone to make payments is going to be sadly dissappointed.

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