News & Views - Savantor

More pilots than BA

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

How many more pilots of contactless payments by banks do we need to prove something? The latest in a long line is Bank of America and Visa who are set to start testing mobile contactless payments technology next month in New York. The pilot - running until the end of the year - will see New York-area staff and customers using retailers such as McDonald's and CVS, as well as taxis and some subway lines. Visa is also working with US Bancorp on a similar pilot that will begin in October. It would probably be more relevant to hear about more large retail chains such as Co-op and Boots running pilots as retailer acceptance is the real key to contactless success.

Perhaps a more interesting pilot is by telcos AT&T, Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile USA who are reportedly teaming on a contactless payment system enabling consumers to make retail purchases via smart phone, a move that could pose a serious threat to traditional credit and debit service. It is reported that the three operators will trial the m-payment solution in Atlanta and three other U.S. cities, with Discover Financial Services' payment network processing all in-store transactions and Barclays helping manage the accounts. Definitely one to watch.

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