RBC to launch NFC payments in the cloud

Canadian bank RBC is to introduce an NFC mobile payments service that stores customers’ card details in the cloud. RBC Secure Cloud will launch later this year and will  be delivered “through partnerships with mobile service providers”. Customers of RBC and mobile network operator Bell will be the first to use the service.

Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)

“Keeping sensitive client data secure with RBC in the cloud, not on the phone, makes RBC Secure Cloud a safer, faster, more flexible solution,” the bank says. “With RBC Secure Cloud, the financial institution assumes the security burden, since sensitive client data remains with the bank, as opposed to keeping it on the phone, as is the case with other models.”

“When a client makes a purchase, whether debit or credit, the data is transmitted using an encrypted single use token and decoded locally on the customer’s mobile device at point of sale,” RBC cards and payment solutions executive vice president Linda Mantia told NFC World.

“RBC Secure Cloud will be available through the Bell network on a variety of smartphones including the BlackBerry Z10 and Q10 and a range of Android smartphones from manufacturers such as Samsung, Sony, HTC, LG and more,” she added.

“We believe a mobile commerce solution needs to work on a variety of phones, with different financial institutions, all card products — debit, credit, prepaid and gift — all telecommunications partners and with all merchants.”

The service is initially focused on NFC, says RBC, but can also “support new technologies such as bar or QR codes, or other standards”. RBC Secure Cloud can also be used for offline transactions. Benefits are expected to include:

  • Simpler and faster provisioning of account information
  • Seamless card lifecycle management including card replacement for lost, stolen and expired cards, as well as setting preferences
  • An open wallet architecture, enabling the platform to support non-RBC payment methods in the future.

“RBC takes the privacy and security of clients very seriously,” Mantia told NFC World. “It’s a cornerstone of our business and remains one of our highest priorities. And frankly – we think it’s one of the reasons people turn to a bank for their payment solution.”

“We believe the right mobile commerce needs to let customers pay the way they want to – with the security they expect from RBC. And of course the experience – from set-up to payment – needs to be simple.”

“RBC Secure Cloud is being built with the highest security standards in mind,” adds Paul Gerics, vice-president of information security at RBC. “We employ a diverse range of technologies and security mechanisms to help ensure the safety, confidentiality and integrity of our client’s information and transactions.”

RBC’s deal with Bell to introduce NFC payments using NFC SIMs to store card details is still to go ahead, with a select group testing the service this summer, the bank confirmed to NFC World.

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