Sport fans to test PayPass wristband; NFC m-payments trials hailed a success

Sport fans to test PayPass wristband; NFC m-payments trials hailed a success

MasterCard is to begin trials of a new form of contactless payment technology - the PayPass wristband, which will be given to 5000 American football fans attending a game at the Giants Stadium in New York on Sunday.

The wristbands feature Giants' team colours and will be pre-loaded with $25, which can be spent at concession stands where PayPass is accepted.

MasterCard says the trial is designed to test a new contactless form factor specific to venues and special events such as professional football and Major League Baseball (MLB) games.

Art Kranzley, group executive, advanced payments, MasterCard Worldwide, says: "We understand how much consumers appreciate the speed and convenience that PayPass offers, and we are happy that we can go one step further and create something that is both stylish and functional."

Earlier this year Taiwan's Chinatrust Commercial Bank (CCB) launched a wrist watch featuring MasterCard's PayPass contactless payment technology.

In a separate move a group of companies have completed the first North American Near Field Communication (NFC) trial for mobile phones, including contactless payments and content downloads at Philips Arena in Atlanta.

During the trial, which launched in December 2005, 150 Atlanta Thrashers and Atlanta Hawks season ticket holders with both a Chase-issued Visa credit account and a Cingular Wireless account made payments at contactless readers supplied by ViVOtech at concession stands throughout the arena.

Additionally, fans downloaded content to their Nokia 3220 mobile phones equipped with NXP's NFC semiconductor chips, including ring tones, wallpapers, screensavers and video clips of favourite players.

The trial found that participants overwhelmingly embraced the technology and said it significantly improved their experience of the arena.

Data usage increased during game days; trial participants used their NFC-enabled mobile device more frequently to search for and purchase digital content. Participants also said they would like to use the mobile devices for payment at a variety of merchant locations, for any purchase size, and see value in accessing multiple payment accounts on hand sets in the future. Participants also expressed interest in having multiple applications on a single mobile device, including transit, loyalty and digital content applications.

The trial was the result of a collaboration between Chase, Cingular Wireless, Nokia, NXP, Visa USA and ViVOtech, along with Atlanta Spirit, parent company of the NBA's Atlanta Hawks, NHL's Atlanta Thrashers and Philips Arena.

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