Recently, inspired by the upcoming EBUG conference, I felt enthused to try and get a handset with NFC working for payments.
Previously i had been "marooned" on an NFC-less iPhone 4S - it had the Starbucks App which makes for a nice barcode-based demo - but so what?
The device I had in mind was the Samsung Galaxy S4 - so I checked the prerequisites: NFC radio interface - check; embedded Secure Element - check; support of USIM Secure Elements - check; support for microSD SE - check...
Okay so it would seem the device is ready! So I duly purchased a SIM-free (unlocked) Samsung Galaxy S4. So what are the options for this awesome device?
Visa Europe are not quite ready with their Embedded SE solution which is due in December 2013 (I am reliably informed).
Google Wallet? Well unless I am prepared to root the phone and hack it about a bit (and accept some pretty high Multicurrency charges) I am not going to be able to get this to work as Google have not rolled this out in the UK.
Ah - surely my prayers are answered in the EE Cash on Tap! But no, EE will only support Cash on Tap on a Locked (to the EE Network) Handset with a monthly contract. Their friendly tech support guy told me it had to do with crypto on the embedded SE - which
was utter nonsense as their service uses special EE USIM's with SE's (indicated by a N on the SIM). Unfortunately their Branch colleagues are equally clueless.
So - Mobile NFC payments UK - where are you? Have device, will travel. If I can't get it working and: (a.) I'm a slightly obsessively enthusiastic geek; and (b.) I've worked in Cards and Payments for over 13 years - what hope has joe public of getting this
working (or actually wanting to).
Convergence. Ease of use. Consistency.
Mobile wallet, where art thou?