Rogers–MasterCard Canada Agreement Brings NFC-enabled Mobile Wallet

by Istvan Fekete on November 12, 2013

Canada’s No. 1 wireless player, Rogers, announced last week that it would launch a mobile wallet branded “suretap” that will allow its subscribers owning an NFC-enabled smartphone such as the BlackBerry Z10 to access a virtual prepaid MasterCard and gift cards to pay at the cash register.

Rogers is poised to boost mobile payments in the country: the carrier has signed a multi-year agreement with MasterCard Canada, which has one strong goal, and that is to drive the adoption of mobile payments across Canada.

The new suretap application comes with a handy feature: it will allow customers to load cash onto a prepaid MasterCard and access it using their NFC-enabled smartphone. The suretap application will be available as a separate, downloadable app from the Android and BlackBerry app storefronts and will allow customers to reload their prepaid cards, check their balance, view recent transactions, and locate contactless terminals nearby.

But this is just the first step, Rogers says. The wireless player plans to add more cards from several banks and even loyalty programs. As regards security – a recurring issue with online payments, and especially mobile payments – the card information will be stored on the smartphone’s SIM card and will be protected by a passcode.

This isn’t the first mobile payment service Rogers has offered: it has previously partnered with CIBC and its Mobile Payment App.  The CIBC Mobile Payment app takes a variety of CIBC Visa and Mastercard cards that are chip-enabled. The NFC was then again in focus, but it was limited to a maximum of $50 per transaction, and it required a CIBC MasterCard account stored on the smartphone. A larger transaction required a signature, however.

The transaction works with any terminal which accepts contactless transactions, such as Visa payWave and MasterCard PayPass.
As the aforementioned initiatives show, Rogers is definitely poised to retain a big chunk of the Canadian mobile payment industry, the new buzz in the financial sector.

However, NFC kind of limits the mobile payment solution by supporting just a few handsets: BlackBerry Z10, BlackBerry Q10, BlackBerry Bold 9900, Samsung Galaxy S4/S3, HTC One, and Sony Xperia ZL. Rogers lists the BlackBerry 9900, and the Samsung Galaxy S3 as Suretap-ready devices with plans to unveil more Suretap-ready devices soon.

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Written by: Istvan Fekete. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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