Royal Bank of Canada has implemented Host Card Emulation for its mobile banking app, enabling customers to pay with most Android mobile phones without worrying about being on the right mobile network or having the right SIM card.
HCE is a cloud-based mechanism for hosting NFC applications outside the Secure Element that effectively removes the need for bank reliance on telcos in implementing mobile payments.
The Canadian bank is initially rolling out the upgrade - which it claims is the first implementation of HCE technology by any North American bank - to a group of RBC employees, allowing them to pay with their contactless RBC Interac Debit card.
The trial will run through the winter.
The bank says credit cards from Visa and MasterCard and other 'value added' services are also in the pipeline.
"We are committed to providing our clients with the most innovative, convenient and secure solutions to pay how they want, when they want - HCE is a critical step," says Linda Mantia , executive vice president of Digital, Payments and Cards, RBC. "HCE makes RBC Secure Cloud mobile payments even easier to use."