Canadian bank CIBC and telco Rogers have roped in Olympic gold medal-winning triathlete Simon Whitfield to carry out the country's first NFC mobile credit card payment.
CIBC and Rogers outlined plans to collaborate in May, the first time a bank and a wireless carrier have joined forces to offer a payments service to Canadians that uses the secure SIM card inside an NFC-enabled handset.
The new CIBC Mobile Payment App will initially be available on the BlackBerry Bold 9900 and BlackBerry Curve 9360, with NFC SIM cards available to order online. Android and Windows Phone 8 modles will be introduced in 2013.
A CIBC-commissioned poll of 2026 people suggests smartphones are increasingly common in the country, owned by 44% of respondents, up from 33% in 2011. A third of these already bank through their handset.
However, less than half of smartphone owners say that they would consider making mobile payments. Predictably, there is slightly more enthusiasm among the young: 51% of 25 to 34 year olds are open to the idea, compared to 48% of 45 to 54 year olds.
Rewards could be an important tool in enticing users, with 59% of those polled citing them as an important factor in deciding whether to make credit card purchases using their phone.
David Williamson, group head, retail and business banking, CIBC, says: "Canadians are ready to start paying for everyday items using their mobile device, but they want all of the benefits and rewards they've come to expect from their credit card."
Research by MasterCard shows that since 2005, Canadian consumers have made over 240 million transactions with their MasterCard PayPass-enabled credit cards or devices. This is by far the highest number of Tap & Go credit transactions in any country in the world in the same time period.