The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is conducting trials of mobile contactless debit payments technology at its Edinburgh headquarters ahead of a public pilot next year.
Staff at the bank's headquarters and at a London office will use NFC-enabled Nokia phones featuring MasterCard's Maestro 'tap and go' PayPass technology to make cash-free low-values transactions of £10 or under.
Partcipants will be able to pay for purchases by placing their phone on a contactless payment terminal. The transaction is automatically debited from the user's current account.
Paul Geddes, chief executive, consumer banking, RBS, says: "We decided to trial this payment innovation because we think people will really welcome the speed and convenience of reaching for their mobile phone to make a payment, instead of worrying about whether they have enough loose change in their pocket or locating their wallet."
"As we constantly look for ways to improve customer convenience, we therefore believe that mobile phones will be the next step in the payments evolution," adds Geddes. "What's more, we think that retailers will welcome Mobile Phone Contactless payments because quicker transaction times equals faster moving queues and ultimately happier customers."
RBS says the internal trial will run through to the end of the year. Public trials of the technology are expected to start next year.
In August the bank launched its contactless debit card scheme following similar internal trials at its Edinburgh headquarters.
MasterCard is currently preparing for public trials of NFC-enabled mobile payments that will allow customers to use contactless 'tap and go' PayPass technology at retail outlets in Japan and Norway.
The card issuer recently claimed that 75% of users who participated in a mobile phone PayPass pilot programme in Taiwan preferred the contactless technology to traditional contact-based cards and made payments more often.