We may be getting closer to reality for a cashless society as RBC and Bell team up to pilot NFC SIM card mobile smartphones. According to a press release the team plan to integrate the SIM cards and the RBC mobile app to create a new debit or credit payment experience using certain Bell mobile devices. Our smartphones are already becoming our new wallets since Apple integrated the passbook app into IOS in 2012. With Passbook you can store retail loyalty cards, boarding passes, tickets and coupons. Passbook even has its own app store. This announcement moves us another step away from cash.
“The new mobile payments solution will be seamlessly integrated into RBC’s existing mobile banking app and will appear as an additional option on the home screen, together with RBC’s peer-to-peer solution that offers a simple way for an RBC customer to send money to any person or business in Canada.”
So what exactly does NFC SIM card mean? NFC stands for “near field communication” and is being used in other devices including car starters. You may have noticed that some new cars don’t actually have a key anymore and all you need to do is sit down in the car and push the start button. This is NFC at work. Basically what you’re doing here is establishing a radio communication with another device.
SIM stands for “subscriber identity module” and is used to identify and authenticate subscribers on mobile phones. SIM cards have been in mobile phones for years but adding NFC takes this a step further and allows for both debit and credit transactions when combined with the RBC app.
In the development of their solution, RBC and Bell are adhering to all major card association regulations, international interoperability standards developed by the mobile GSM Association, as well as established security and interoperability standards ensuring the transaction receives similar safety and customer protection for unauthorized use to a traditional credit card. Data is stored securely on NFC SIM cards certified by major credit card providers to their international security standards. In future, Bell will make NFC SIM cards available to all NFC-capable devices.
So while this is just a pilot project right now you can generally expect this service to be made available to all Canadian smartphone users either by the end of 2013 or into the first quarter of 2014. It’s an exciting development and could up the convenience factor for some of us. I’m sure for some however announcements like this are met with a fair amount of trepidation, especially for those without smartphones and those with limited tech know-how.
“By the end of this year, RBC and Bell Mobility customers will be able to securely pay for transactions with their RBC debit or credit cards using the BlackBerry Z10, Q10, Bold 9900, Bold 9790 or Curve 9360, and a range of Android devices from manufacturers such as Samsung, Sony, HTC, LG and more. The two companies expect to make the service broadly available by the end of the year and will be road testing the solution with consumer and merchant customers over the summer.”
Are you looking forward to paying with your smartphone?