MasterCard is partnering with Nokia and 7-Eleven for consumer trials in Dallas, Texas, of Near Field Communications (NFC)-enabled mobile phones with contactless PayPass capability.
Up to 500 participants from the 7-Eleven Speak Out pre-paid wireless programme are getting NFC-enabled Nokia 3220 mobile phones and instructions on how to add PayPass payment functionality using chip management technology from Giesecke & Devrient. Participants will then be able to use the phones to make purchases at any of the 32,000 merchant locations worldwide that accept MasterCard PayPass. The trial will run for approximately six months
Dan Schatt, senior analyst, Celent Communications, describes the programme as "game-changing" because little if anything must be done by the consumer to use their mobile phone as their wallet.
"We've already seen the tremendous value other countries are deriving from contactless mobile commerce, and we expect this initiative to have a significant impact on the way US goods and services are paid for at the point of sale in the future," he says.
To add PayPass capability to an NFC-capable phone, consumers make a one-time request to their bank to register for the service. Data is sent by G&D's secure chip management platform over the carrier network. It automatically loads, activates and personalizes the PayPass payment application inside the mobile phone's built-in 'secure area'. The wallet application on these phones can also be password protected so that a lost or stolen handset cannot be used to make payments.
Richard Fletcher, group head, mobile/wireless, MasterCard, says previous mobile payment trials have been limited by scalability issues. "Now, with a few simple steps, consumers can turn a cell phone into a PayPass payment device."