MasterCard has teamed with telco Bell Mobility to launch trials of its contactless mobile payment technology in Canada.
The four month closed pilot will see mobile phones on Bell Mobility's wireless network equipped with a PayPass payment application.
Users will be able to pay for purchases at merchant locations that accept MasterCard's contactless technology by tapping their handset at specially equipped point-of-sale payment terminals.
MasterCard Canada says it will use the pilot to test the system's security and over-the-air (OTA) provisioning of card credentials.
The PayPass payment application can be password protected so that a lost or stolen handset cannot be used to make payments.
Nagesh Devata, acceptance development and new products, MasterCard Canada, says: "One of the benefits of this technology is that little if anything must be done by the consumer to use their mobile phone as a payment device."
Almis Ledas, VP corporate development, Bell Mobility, says the PayPass trial is "an important step in the progression of mobile commerce in Canada".
Ledas says the telco will use the trial to validate the technology's ability to meet high expectations for security, simplicity and convenience and will share the findings with the other wireless carriers.
MasterCard in confident that the trials will be a success. The card network says a 2007 survey found nearly nine in ten Canadians (88%) are "very interested" in a payment method that would cut the time it takes to complete transactions.
Earlier this year MasterCard partnered Dutch banking group ING to develop a NFC-based mobile payments system and has also teamed with Nokia and US Bank to trial the technology in Washington DC.