More mobile payment methods and wallets are testing and preparing for commercial launch with mobile joint venture Isis starting trials in two pilot U.S markets, Visa testing NFC (Near Field Communication) payments at the London Olympic Games, and PayPal trialing their mobile payment method with McDonald’s fast food restaurants in France.
Google Wallet is the only mobile NFC payment method commercially available in the United States today but they will soon be joined by several competitors, meanwhile new competing mobile wallets continue to form. Isis, the mobile payment joint-venture formed by Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T, had previously announced plans to trial their mobile wallet and NFC payments this summer in two pilot markets: Salt Lake City, Utah and Austin, Texas. It was rumored these trials would begin on August 20 and while the number of merchants participating is unknown the Isis mobile payment method will be available when paying-at-the-pump at several gas stations in these pilot markets through recent agreements with fuel dispenser payment terminal manufacturers Gilbarco Veeder-Root and Wayne. Currently there are three devices supported by Isis for their SmartTap NFC payments and the mobile wallet is open to the four major card brands.
After a three-week trial of mobile payments over Visa’s PayWave NFC platform at the 2012 Olympics hundreds of consumers were able to experience mobile contactless payments firsthand in London. Visa and partner Samsung furnished 850 consumers, including Olympic athletes, with a Samsung Galaxy S3 smartphone that had a special Olympic trial version of the Visa mobile wallet application not available to the general public. Consumers simply waved the smartphone over one of 3,000 contactless payment terminals and vending machines on site at the Olympics, for purchases under £20 no PIN was required and the app didn’t need to be open, but for purchases exceeding this amount the consumer could open the app and input the PIN while waiting to checkout. Lloyds TSB was the financial institution involved with this trial and Visa expects to have a commercial mobile payment app launched in the UK in the next twelve months.
PayPal, who isn’t going the route of NFC, is starting a mobile payment trial with McDonald’s restaurants in France which is a little different from their U.S. trials with Home Depot. Consumers are able to order food either with a McDonald’s mobile app or by placing the order online and then pay for the food order online or over the mobile device with PayPal. Customers then have a separate line to verify the order and pick up their food at the McDonald’s. This initial trial is with 30 McDonald’s fast food restaurants but can grow into a large partnership if successful as there are over 30,000 McDonald’s restaurants worldwide.
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