Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) Tests NFC Mobile Payments on BlackBerry Smartphones
In an indication of how smartphones are becoming an indispensable part of our daily lives, Bank of America (BAC) is conducting a trial that will allow select customers to test mobile payments on Blackberry smartphones in Atlanta, New York and San Francisco.
The program, called the “Mobile Wallet”, was launched in the fall with tests in New York City’s subway system by select iPhone users.
With this trial, Bank of America will test NFC technology on select BlackBerry® devices, allowing users to “wave through” turnstiles rather than swiping a MetroCard.
The movement away from paying New York City transit fares with standard Metrocards is gaining steam.
In 2010, Visa has joined MasterCard in a trial project to streamline payments for public transit riders using smartphone payment system Visa payWave, according to a Visa release.
“Transit agencies the world over have one primary goal — to get their customers to where they need to go quickly and efficiently. What transit agencies and riders recognize is that using Visa on buses, subways and trains is the logical evolution in terms of improved speed, security and convenience,” said Jim McCarthy, Visa’s global head of product.
McCarthy added, “For commuters, paying with Visa means no more fumbling for change or worrying about lost transit cards. For transit authorities, accepting Visa means better customer service, integrated collections and the potential for increased ridership.”
According to BoyGeniusReport, customers who are invited will need a supported BlackBerry device and an active Bank of America Visa debit card or MasterCard credit card. Bank of America will send out a new custom battery cover and microSD card for participants in the Mobile Wallet program.
According to the invitation, “This new technology lets you make convenient and secure purchases at participating retailers using only your BlackBerry® device. Just tap & pay. It’s that easy.”
Supported BlackBerry phones include:
- BlackBerry Curve 8520 and 8530
- BlackBerry Tour 9630
- BlackBerry Bold 9000, 9650, and 9700
The trial is expected to begin March 28 and last throughout the spring season in Atlanta, New York, and San Francisco, reports Bank Systems & Technology.
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