National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), Visa, telco Zain and fintech vendor ViVOtech have teamed on a six month long near field communication-based mobile payments pilot.
The pilot, running from October to April, will enable NBK customer to use Nokia 6212 handsets equipped with ViVOtech NFC technology, to make low value payments.
In total, 500 NBK cardholders will download their Zain Visa credit card account details directly to the handset over the telco's network. Once the account has been personalised on the phone, customers can then begin to make purchases at any one of the 100 merchant partner outlets at Kuwait's largest mall by passing the handset over a Visa payWave reader at the point of sale.
The pilot will also use 'smart posters' which customers can tap with their phone to collect retail offers and a free Visa pre-pay card. Participants that have both a credit and pre-paid card on their handset can then choose which account to use for payments.
The firms say the trial will provide strong security, tapping the same EMV technology which protects all NBK credit and debit cards.
Shaikha Khalid Al Bahar, deputy CEO, NBK, says: "We are pleased that our customers can benefit from the ease and convenience of paying for their everyday items with their everyday device and also enjoy dynamic retail offers through smart posters while still enjoying the same level of security that a NBK Visa card transaction provides."
Khalid AlHajery, CEO, Zain Kuwait, adds: "Mobile phones are no longer merely devices for making and receiving calls, instead continuous investment in innovation has meant that mobile phones are increasingly becoming a platform for new technology such as proximity payments."