RBS and NatWest have begun a contactless payments trial, giving 1000 customers NFC-enabled iPhone cases ahead of a wider roll out.
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.
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.
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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© Finextra Research 2014