Time and again, we at TheTelecomBlog have questioned why the so-called mobile payment revolution is taking longer than anticipated to arrive. However, things seem to be finally moving and the abolishment of penny is already being viewed as a strategic move to facilitate mobile payments.
Last week, MasterCard published the MasterCard Mobile Payments Readiness Index (MPRI) which indicates that Canada is one of the most ‘prepared’ markets for adoption of mobile payments. And yesterday, Canadian banks and Credit Unions presented a blueprint that will enable consumers to pay for goods with a tap of their smartphones.
Needless to say, this is a huge step forward as Canada prepares for a widespread adoption of mobile payments.
The mobile payment guidelines were issued by the Canadian Bankers Association – an umbrella body that represents banks operating across Canada. The Association maintains that its voluntary guidelines adhere to common same security standards used by chip-enabled credit and debit cards and existing wireless point-of-sale terminals at retailers. The guidelines document titled ‘Mobile Reference Model’ defines a framework for how mobile payments can work with existing systems such as contactless readers already widely installed across Canada.
“Canadians are looking forward to being able to pay at point-of-sale with their mobile device, and today’s announcement of guidelines for mobile payments in Canada brings this closer to making it a reality,” the CBA said in a statement Monday. “The payment ecosystem takes the co-ordination of many parties to function effectively. It is hoped that providing early clarity on industry participation in the ecosystem will help stabilize and build efficiencies into the future deployment of mobile payments in Canada.”
The association has also established a protocol for secure payment information exchange across various stakeholders including banks, card providers, merchants and wireless providers. The guidelines include near-field communication (NFC) which is fast emerging as a popular mobile payment mechanism worldwide.
As I mentioned in my earlier post, the end goal, is to transform Canada into a cashless society; one where transactions are safe and secure, where our finances are less prone to thievery, and where my pockets are no longer weighed down will scads of copper pennies. While we are not there yet, I believe this is another massive step forward in the right direction.