The Bankwatch

Tracking the consumer evolution of financial services

Rogers Wireless joins RBC and Visa m-payments pilot

This is an exciting development.  After reporting on the far east and their advances in types of wireless payments, RBC in Canada and Rogers wireless announce a new pilot in the works. 

Rogers Wireless joins RBC and Visa m-payments pilot

RBC (Toronto:RY.TO)(NYSE:RY), Visa and Rogers Wireless have come together for the next phase of the mobile phone payment pilot, which will ultimately allow Canadians the flexibility to make purchases securely at the point of sale with a wave of their mobile phone.

Its to be aimed at small payments, and using Motorola phones.  That latter point is a hinderance it its limited to one phone, but hopefully thats only for the pilot.

The technology used is Near Field Communication (NFC) that is described at Wikipedia as –

a short-range high frequency wireless communication technology which enables the exchange of data between devices over about a 10 centimetre (around 4 inches) distance.

In Tokyo last time I noticed the prevalence of smart wireless payment cards.  I have a Pasmo card that was for the subway, and now I can use in convenience stores, and other merchants.  Which all leads to the question of whether the future will be contacless cards or phones.  The answer is likely both.

Others in Japan:

Suica issued by JR East (Railway). Uses RFID.

Pasmo issued by Passnet (other rail providers than JR).  Uses RFID.  Works best for Tokyo people because it works on Tokyo Metro.

Registered PASMO

Written by Colin Henderson

November 2, 2008 at 23:44

2 Responses

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  1. My real question: what will be different about this pilot? M-payments have been testing in various incarnations for over a decade, around the world. What is truly different about this technology, this implementation and the value proposition?

    The right question is what do people really want to use to pay: whatever is easiest and best for them. And that will probably be a mixture of cards, phones and the many other devices and payment schemes the industry has tested and will continue to test.

    Taylor Davidson

    November 3, 2008 at 14:07

  2. @Taylor – too right. Contactless and payments have both been examples of technology chasing a solutions. The one thing this one has going for it is the combination of Canada’s largest bank, and largest wireless carrier. However that still means they must develop a valid customer value proposition. Time will tell.


    November 3, 2008 at 22:20

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