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Canada leading race to deliver NFC payment system

updated 07:55 am EDT, Thu April 26, 2012

Canada close to standardized NFC payment system

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.

by MacNN Staff



  1. facebook_Mark

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Apr 2012


    What race?

    Who made up this contest of countries rushing to use NFC? If the Japanese are reluctant to use the technology, imagine the rest of the world.

  1. que_ball

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not surprising

    Here in canada we have a very good structure to get this kind of change done.

    We have a relatively small number of large banks and a very strong organization that sets the standards for inter-bank transactions. The canadian payments association sets the standards for our banking system. The banks all have representatives that work with the CPA to come up with new standards for how the banks interact with each other.

    Then we have the actual digital payment network that all the bank terminals use to communicate which most people recognize called interac. They will be the ones who transmit the transactions back and forth between the retailer and the bank and implement the system.

    Between the banks, the CPA, and the Interac network we have a relatively nimble infrastructure for change. Compare that to the huge number of banks in the USA, relatively poor cooperation between those banks on standards and the governments at state and federal levels that have introduced so much bureaucracy yet have so little control. (Witness the banking meltdown of recent history as an example)
    American banks are still in the process of trying to fully implement the modernization of paper check processing with the Check 21 act. I think they are still only at 70-80% of banks implementing that standard.

    USA still has not implemented smart card chip and pin on your bank and credit cards yet.

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