Canada Close to Standardized NFC Payment System

Posted by at 10:23 am on April 26, 2012

Canada is leading the race to develop a fully integrated NFC smartphone payment system according to Reuters. While NFC systems have been set up in other countries for commuters, Japan and South Korea being examples, no country has yet been able to establish more comprehensive transaction system for wider use. Canada is said to have more mobile-ready contactless payment machines installed throughout the country per capita than any other country.

‘In Canada, we are more ready than probably any country in the world,” said David Robinson, who is responsible for the emerging business team at Rogers. He expects an integrated mobile wallet system to be established within the next six months.

Rogers, along with Bell and Telus are reportedly close to developing an agreement with the country’s major banks that would see banks pay a flat annual fee to have a consumer’s credit card details stored on the SIM card of an NFC-enabled smartphone. The phone could then replace the consumer’s credit card, with the telcos getting no further cut from each transaction.

However, while getting a mobile payment system off the ground in Canada appears likely, the unknown factor is how consumers will respond to the possibilities that such a system offers. The Japanese experience is cited as an example of consumer reluctance to fully embrace the mobile payment concept. A strategy cited to help overcome a barrier to acceptance may be offered by the telcos who could also partner with loyalty or frequent flyer programs to stimulate consumer interest.

With 100 million NFC-enabled smartphones expected to be sold this year, a critical mass may be achieved sooner, rather than later.

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