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STORY SUMMARY: TORONTO, November 1, 2007 - RBC and Visa Canada are
teaming up to be the first in Canada to pilot a mobile payment service that
uses cellphones rather than traditional credit cards for making Visa
purchases. This Ontario-based pilot is expected to be completed in 2008, and
involve multiple phases including in-lab testing, an RBC staff pilot and a
As part of the pilot, mobile devices will be embedded with Near Field
Communication (NFC) contactless chips that will enable users to make purchases
using the Visa payWave feature just as they would with a contactless payment
card. Designed to be a fast and convenient way for consumers to pay for small
purchases, mobile phones can simply be waved at Visa payWave checkout readers.
The functions to be tested in the pilot include secure delivery and storage of
account information to the mobile device; mobile payments at retailers;
storing and redeeming mobile payment coupons; and mobile account management.
"Handheld communication devices are already as indispensable as wallets,"
said Anne Koski, head, Payments Innovation in RBC's Cards division. "Many of
our clients would appreciate the convenience of making purchases through their
mobile phones rather than fumbling for cash when trying to get through a busy
checkout line. Mobile devices, much like electronic payments, have become a
mainstay in people's lives, so combining the two securely makes a lot of
RBC's launch of mobile payments in Canada is closely aligned with the
country's migration to chip card technology. RBC is currently participating in
the payment industry chip trial taking place in the Kitchener-Waterloo area by
issuing chip cards to their clients. Widely used in other parts of the world,
chip-embedded credit cards are designed to provide increased protection
against counterfeiting and skimming fraud. Similar security features will be
incorporated into the mobile device payment technology.
As part of the chip card trial RBC will also provide many clients with
the Visa payWave contactless payment feature on their chip card. This allows
users to wave their credit card near a Visa payWave reader rather than having
to swipe the card or insert it into a chip reader. These transactions do not
require a signature or a PIN to complete the purchase.
"RBC was the first Canadian FI to offer a credit card with chip
technology nationwide," added Koski. "We were the first to announce our
intentions to offer Visa payWave on our cards and we are pleased to be at the
forefront of another new technology that has the potential to transform the
way consumers make payments. Visa's mobile platform is providing us with the
ability to develop new and secure payment solutions to meet the needs of our
"The launch of the Visa platform is the latest demonstration of our
mobile vision to provide the applications and enabling technologies for
innovative mobile programs that bring value to financial institutions, mobile
operators, merchants and their customers," said Michael Bradley, vice
president, Products, Visa Canada. "We're thrilled that RBC is leveraging the
Visa mobile platform and today's announcement marks a significant milestone in
its development of innovative payment solutions."
RBC is the leading issuer of chip cards in Canada, processing over 11
million chip transactions to date worldwide.
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