Rogers and CIBC switch on NFC payments in Canada

Canadian athlete Simon Whitfield has completed Canada’s first NFC transaction, at a Tim Hortons coffee shop, and customers of the bank and mobile network operator can now order an NFC-enabled Rogers SIM ahead of the full commercial launch of the new mobile payments service on 16 November.

CIBC and Rogers launch their NFC payments service
LAUNCH: Simon Whitfield makes Canada’s first Suretap NFC payment, watched by CIBC’s David Williamson and David Robinson from Rogers

Canadian bank CIBC and mobile network operator Rogers have announced that their NFC payments service is ready for commercial launch.

Canadian triathlete Simon Whitfield performed the first transaction using the Suretap service on 2 November, buying coffee at a branch of Tim Hortons using the new CIBC Mobile Payment App with a BlackBerry smartphone equipped with a Rogers NFC-enabled SIM.

The service will go live to the general public on 16 November and customers of CIBC and Rogers can now order an NFC-enabled SIM from Rogers in readiness for the launch.

“The new mobile payments capability from CIBC and Rogers means clients will be able to pay with their CIBC credit card, whether Visa or MasterCard, without retrieving the plastic card from their wallet or purse,” say the partners. “They can simply hold their Rogers BlackBerry smartphone up to a contactless payment terminal and the payment will be automatically charged to their CIBC credit card. The CIBC Mobile Payment App will be accepted at the tens of thousands of Visa PayWave and MasterCard PayPass contactless terminals across Canada and around the world.”

To begin with, the service will be available on just two smartphones, the BlackBerry Bold 9900 and BlackBerry Curve 9360. “Additional Suretap-ready devices will support the solution in 2013, including Android and Windows Phone 8 platforms, broadening the offer to more Canadians,” the partners say.

A Harris/Decima poll shows that 44% of Canadians now own a smartphone and, within that group, 47% say they are interested in using mobile payments.

“We’ve seen firsthand how quickly demand can build in other aspects of mobile financial services such as mobile banking, and based on the feedback from our clients we see mobile payments growing rapidly in Canada in the coming years,” says CIBC’s David Williamson.

“In a few years, a mobile wallet will be as common as a camera on a smartphone,” adds Rogers’ David Robinson. “The opportunity in mobile payments for our business is just getting started — our vision is to take the millions of cards Canadians carry today and to make them instantly accessible and secured on the SIM card of a smartphone.”

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