Eftpos NFC mobile payments coming soon

Five-year agreement with C-SAM include mobile wallet and NFC widget

Eftpos will begin mobile payment trials with Australian retailers in the “next few months,” according to the company.

Payment company Eftpos and mobile payment provider C-SAM have signed a five-year agreement to develop an Eftpos mobile wallet and near-field communications (NFC) widget, the company announced today.

The mobile wallet and NFC technology will allow shoppers to pay by tapping their mobile smartphones against a payment terminal. In addition, the technology could eventually let Eftpos offer loyalty programs, special offers and receipt transfer services in the future.

“This agreement will enable Eftpos to move into proof of concept trials very quickly, to test various solutions for the Australian market,” Eftpos CEO Bruce Mansfield said.

“We want to make sure that any new technology that we offer on mobile devices is going to provide financial institutions, retailers and consumers with secure, accessible and affordable payment solutions that they have come to expect from Eftpos.”

Mansfield said the mobile wallet and widget will be developed as white-label products that could be branded by retailers or financial institutions in Australia.

Besides Eftpos, a variety of companies are exploring mobile payments, including banks, retailers, credit card companies, technology firms like Google and payment gateways like PayPal.

MasterCard announced a digital wallet earlier this year using existing PayPass NFC technology. MasterCard also recently announced mobile payment trials with Coles.

PayPal and others have voiced doubts about the future of NFC for mobile payments. PayPal chose not to use the technology for its recently announced in-store mobile payment system.

With PayPal's system, customers can open an app on their mobile device and check into the store they are visiting.

The store can then see their customers PayPal profiles on their point-of-sale (POS) terminals and charge the customer’s PayPal account by tapping his or her picture.

While NFC technology is present in many recent Google Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone devices, Apple has yet to include NFC in an iPhone.

“Is tapping a phone on a terminal any easier than swiping a credit card?” PayPal president, David Marcus, asked last year on the PayPal blog. “I don’t think so—it’s not solving a real consumer problem and its [sic] not providing additional value to encourage me (or anyone else for that matter) to change my behavior.”

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Tags smartphoneEftposmobile paymentsNear Field Communications (NFC)

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