Mobile handset operator Nokia and US payment network operator 2Scoot have teamed to begin technology trials enabling customers to use their Nokia phones for mobile cashless payments.
The initiative uses a Radio frequency Identification (RFID) chip in the Nokia changeable Xpress-on phone cover to transform the handset to a secure payments device. The new 5100 series SmartCover is designed to easily snap onto a Nokia model 5100 Series phone, says the company, in much the same way consumers now change the colour covers of their phones.
RFID is a short-range bi-directional RF transmission system that operates at 134.2 kHz or 13.56 MHz. RFID applications are currently used for toll booths, airport baggage tracking, parcel delivery, access control, and electronic ticketing, among others.
The trials are to be performed in conjunction with two national chains of quick-service restaurants in Raleigh, North Carolina. When a customer is ready to pay for goods and services they present their phone to the 2Scoot scanner at the point of sale and payment is instantly made. 2Scoot's technology links to a customer's existing credit card, automatically authorising and clearing payment at the point of sale.
Nokia SmartCovers are expected to be available commercially during the first half of 2001 following technology trials.