Dutch supermarket trials mobile payments
The IT and business services provider LogicaCMG has announced details of a pilot project at a branch of the Dutch supermarket, C1000, in Molenaarsgraaf (near Rotterdam), where 100 customers will be allowed to pay for their shopping using an NFC-enabled mobile phone.
The six-month pilot is being led by LogicaCMG and Schuitema, owner of the C1000 supermarket chain, in cooperation with Rabobank, KPN, NXP Semiconductors and RFID Platform Nederland.
Debit-linked payments The payment system is directly linked to customers' online debit accounts, and uses the existing online PIN payment infrastructure, with the debit card simply being replaced by a mobile phone handset.
For those customers taking part in the trial programme, groceries can be paid for by simply holding the mobile phone next to the near field communication (NFC) reader at the checkout and then entering their individual PIN.
In addition to paying for shopping by mobile phone, bottle deposit refunds can also be stored on the phone.
Infrastructure requirements The system uses the existing online PIN payment infrastructure, with the debit card simply being replaced by a mobile phone. The mobile phones are equipped with an NFC chip which supports the general contactless exchange of information (in this case payment details) over a very short distance.
The supermarket aims to make shopping more convenient for its customers by removing the need to carry cash or cards, as most consumers already carry their mobile phone with them when the go shopping.
A shopping revolution? According to Gerben Mak, innovation director for LogicaCMG in the Netherlands, "We are on the verge of a revolution in how we will use our mobile phones in Europe. We've gained momentum due to a combination of increasingly mobile-savvy consumers, technological advancements such as NFC, and a time of key developments in the banking infrastructure throughout Europe, such as the Single Euro Payments Area."
Molenaarsgraaf was chosen for the pilot programme because it contains many Rabobank customers, and there was strong support from the local C1000 supermarket branch. Despite being only 20km from Rotterdam, the town's population make extensive use of the local C1000 store, presenting an opportunity to quickly involve a large proportion of the community in the trial. According to Mak, the initial consumer response has been positive.