Netherlands trials mobile/NFC-based retail payments
The Asian payment service provider JCB has joined forces with seven other companies to combine payment systems, terminals, near-field communications (NFC) and mobile phones, to launch a trial contactless credit payment scheme in Amsterdam this autumn.
The project will involve JCB, CCV Holland, Gemplus, KPN, Nokia, PaySquare, Philips and ViVOtech, and will provide consumers with the convenience of using a mobile phone to make small payments in Amsterdam.
Selected JCB cardmembers will be supplied with a Nokia mobile phone equipped with Philips' NFC chips, and pre-loaded with the payment application. These consumers will be able to pay at participating merchants by waving their mobile phone at the contactless payment terminal.
Feasibility phase In the first stage of the pilot programme, JCB will be inviting approximately 100 cardmembers in Amsterdam, and merchants in and around the city's World Trade Centre. On this small scale, the pilot is mainly designed to evaluate technological aspects and operational feasibility, including ease-of-use for the customer. But the companies involved are also hoping to expand both the cardmember base and merchant locations as the project evolves.
"This deployment marks the beginning of a new payment era for Europe and we are thrilled to be a part of it," said Michael Mullagh, CEO for ViVOtech. "From parking garages to fast food restaurants to movie theatres and even water taxis, NFC mobile phone technology could revolutionise the way consumers and retailers interact with each other."
Technology partners The partner companies have the following responsibilities throughout the trial:
- CCV Holland: deployment of terminals and processing of the transactions;
- Gemplus: specify and develop the mobile payment application and the associated personalisation solution;
- KPN: installation of the application and personalisation of the mobile phone;
- Nokia: deployment of the NFC mobile phone;
- PaySquare (JCB's acquiring partner in the Netherlands): acquire merchants;
- Philips: consultation on and delivery of the NFC technology;
- ViVOtech: deploy the contactless EMV readers (the ViVOpay 5000 series) to accept payment from NFC mobile phones.
On the chip NFC was designed as an easy-to-use short range wireless technology (closely related to RFID technology - see Using RFID), and is being adopted by increasing numbers of mobile phone handset manufacturers, credit card companies and public transport operators around the world for contactless transactions such as secure payments and transport ticketing.
The technology was jointly developed by Philips and Sony, and enables secure short-range communication between electronic devices, such as mobile phones, PDA's, computers and payments terminals. NFC operates at 13.56MHz over a distance of a few centimetres.