HSBC is launching a pilot of mobile contactless payments technology at its US card services division that will see staff use their handsets to pay for low-value purchases.
More than 200 staff at HSBC's credit card services units in New York, Chicago and several other US cities will participate in the six-month pilot, which will test the use of Near Field Communication (NFC) enabled mobile phones to make contactless credit card purchases.
HSBC says participants used a simple "over-the-air" (OTA) personalisation process to securely load their credit card data onto NFC-enabled mobile phones, which can now be used to pay for purchases under $25 at any retailer that accepts MasterCard's PayPass system. Users simply tap their PayPass-enabled phone on the reader at participating merchants.
ViVOtech provided the wallet, smart poster, and payment provisioning software for the phones used in the trial.
Walter Menezes, chief executive of HSBC card services, says "Putting payment capability into mobile phones is our latest effort to employ innovative technology in our credit card business."
HSBC introduced contactless debit cards to its bank customers in late 2005 and contactless credit cards in 2006.
Last year Bank of America said it was conducting trials of contactless mobile payments technology as an alternative to low-value cash payments.
Around 500 staff at BoA's offices in Wilmington, Delaware are taking part in the pilot and use their mobile phones to pay for purchases at vending machines, in a cafeteria and at an internal convenience shop.