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Idealog—in the ideas business

It’s tap and go in Auckland mobile wallet trial

Telecom, Auckland Transport and Westpac plan to start trialling a mobile wallet system from next month in collaboration with Gemalto, Thales and Paymark.

The trial will involve some 30 staff from the six organisations, making "tap and go" payments to access public transport in Auckland and make purchases at a small selection of retailers.

Thales will be using its near-field communication (NFC) application throughout Auckland Transport's smart card ticketing system, HOP, before deploying it globally across all networks and banks. The trial, which utilises Telecom's XT network, is expected to enable participants to pay for fares on Auckland's buses, trains and ferries through their mobile phones. The phone will communicate with the HOP terminal to complete the transaction without having to swipe or insert a card.

The trial will also use a Westpac credit card to top up a Telecom XT Prepaid account, using Paymark's infrastructure.

Telecom chief executive Paul Reynolds said the days of people having to use multiple plastic cards to pay for goods and services were numbered.

Auckland Transport chief executive, Dr David Warburton echoed the sentiment.

"Mobile phone technology makes the option of paying for transport services using a device the majority of New Zealanders carry with them every day, a natural choice reducing the number of cards customers have to carry."

Gemalto said the company had been involved in more than 50 NFC projects. 

In late 2011 Vodafone and BNZ embarked on an in-house trial using NFC to enable mobile payments.

And last month Paymark, Vodafone, 2degrees and Telecom announced a joint venture to create the infrastructure necessary to enable bank cards, loyalty cards or transport tickets to be replaced by applications securely stored in a virtual wallet on a mobile phone.  The technology would ultimately be available to all Kiwis.




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