Mobile equipment manufacturer Ericsson is collaborating with Eurocard in Sweden to test the viability of Bluetooth wireless technology for the transmission of payments to high street cash tills.
The trials begin in May, when a limited number of Eurocard holders will be provided with an Ericsson R520m mobile telephone incorporating Bluetooth transmission technology and a virtual Eurocard. Bluetooth makes it possible to transmit wireless data over short distances - in this case, between the purchaser's Ericsson mobile phone, which holds the virtual Eurocard, and cash registers at Swedish retail participants.
"The attempt is based on an Ericsson-developed payment platform for financial transactions using Bluetooth. It is an example of how the new wireless Internet technology can be used for users' everyday tasks," says Orvar Parling, vice president, Ericsson.
Eurocard in Sweden wants to determine whether customers experience payment via mobile phone as simpler, faster and more convenient than other payment methods such as cash and cards.
"For the customer, paying for purchases using a Bluetooth equipped mobile phone will enable them to pass through the store check-out much faster," says Synnöve Trygg, president of Eurocard in Sweden He says payment by Bluetooth equipped mobile phone can shorten the payment procedure by half.
"Customers can also be informed of any special offers the stores may have at the particular time via their mobile telephones," he adds.
Trygg believes the application of Bluetooth technology may offer an improvement over similar mobile phone-based payment trials which rely on the regular GSM network and short text messaging services.