Pay By Cell Phone Test Calls To Customers

Written by Administrator on November 2nd, 2007 in Cell Phone News.

You may already have a “pay as you go” plan on your cell phone. Now get ready to use a pay before you go concept using the same handset. The Royal Bank and Visa Canada are teaming up for a pilot project that will allow mobile phones with specially embedded chips to be used to automatically pay for purchases at a store.

The idea isn’t a new one – it’s been in use for a while overseas. But it’s the first time Canadians will be able to go dialing for dollars without actually needing their wallet. “The consumers don’t have to reach into their pockets and fumble for cash and change,” explains Royal Bank spokesperson Anne Koski. “They can just pull out their mobile phones, which most people carry today anyway. All they need to do then is simply wave the phone at the checkout reader … there is no pin or password.”

And for a change there won’t be something else attached – a service charge. The system will be free to consumers, and it won’t count against your airtime charges. But there are a few catches. In order to prevent fraud or losses from people who lose their phones, the system will only let you charge $25 or less at a time. And in the beginning, it will be restricted to the bank’s credit card customers, with an option to add debit card holders later on.

The experiment will be limited to Ontario and will end next year, after which the Bank will mull over how to launch it commercially.

They’ll be supplying the phones for the test but don’t yet know which ones will be compatible with the system. “I think this is going to take off in Canada,” Koski predicts. “The value proposition that this provides is security and convenience.”
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