Citigroup, MasterCard, Cingular and Nokia announced a consumer technology trial of Near Field Communication (NFC)-enabled mobile phones with MasterCard PayPass contactless payment capability in New York City.
The goal of this trial is to evaluate the speed and convenience that “tap and go” payments made through mobile phones can provide to Citi credit cards and Cingular customers in the New York City area. The trial is expected to run three to six months.
Pre-selected Citi MasterCard cardholders with Cingular Wireless accounts are participating in the trial and will receive Nokia NFC-enabled mobile phones with MasterCard PayPass payment functionality. MasterCard PayPass is a “contactless” payment program that provides consumers with a fast and convenient way to pay.
With their NFC-enabled phone, trial participants can pay for purchases at any merchant that accepts MasterCard PayPass by simply holding their phone near a secure PayPass payment terminal. If they choose, participants will be permitted to enable the PayPass functionality only at the point of sale and to disable it at all other times. The contactless payment transaction is automatically charged to the user through the same secure MasterCard payment network that processes traditional credit card transactions.
“This trial offers Citi customers a new payment experience and, in fact, the first step in the convergence of the wallet with the mobile phone,” said Ed Garofalo, Executive Vice President, Citi Cards.
“Most people have their mobile phone with them wherever they go to stay in touch. The simplicity of conducting everyday transactions, such as low cost purchases with their phone, adds high value and convenience for consumers,” said Dieter May, Vice President and Head of Nokia Emerging Business Unit. “Nokia NFC-enabled phones used in this trial support over-the-air downloading of cardholder information, which is necessary for commercial rollout of NFC based mobile services. We believe NFC creates new and exciting opportunities for mobile operators, credit card associations, banks and other stakeholders, and we will be closely involved in the creation of the emerging NFC ecosystem bringing benefits to all parties.”
Trial participants can also take part in the New York City Subway contactless transit fare payment trial sponsored by Citigroup, MasterCard Worldwide, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and MTA New York City Transit.