The Financial Services Technology Consortium has issued a call for participation for US financial institutions to join in a nine-month wireless proximity payments trial at the University of Southern California.
The campus trial will develop a live commercial environment in which infrared-based handheld payment devices and infrared-adapted Point of Sale terminals will be deployed for purchase transactions.
The project, known as the Zoop Universal Mobile Payments Service (UMPS), is jointly sponsored by Harex InfoTech, and the University of Southern California's (USC) Marshall School of Business. Under the programme, students and faculty at USC will use standard Handspring Treo Communicators equipped with a Zoop payment application, Cingular Wireless service and a virtual Visa card issued by the USC Federal Credit Union to make payments at infrared-enabled Point of Sale sites.
USC's Bookstore will be the first merchant in the US to go live with this wireless payment method. Over time, the project will expand to permit payments at any location on the campus equipped to handle cash, cheques, credit cards and debit cards.
In its strategy to become a fully digital campus, USC plans to extend the capabilities of the service to include access services and coverage on and off campus. The possibilities for this technology ranges from wireless payments and ticketing to wireless entrance permissions into residence halls and laboratories.
FSTC project participants will be presented with a report prepared by the University's Marshall School of Business into usability and consumer adoption behaviors, and a document outlining the possibilities for large-scale commercial deployment of the technology.