Danish shoppers to get BLE mobile payments in 2017

Danes will soon be able to make in-store Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) based mobile payments using the Dankort debit card by tapping their phone against a device developed by Spire Payments. It will be deployed as an upgrade to “tens of thousands” of POS terminals supplied by Nordic payments service provider Nets starting from early 2017.

Spire Payments logo“A customer wishing to purchase goods will momentarily tap their mobile phone on the BLE acceptance device connected to the POS,” Spire Payments says. “The sale then completes without further customer interaction unless a transaction threshold is exceeded whereupon a PIN is requested.

“Unlike NFC, the mobile phone can connect with the POS before the purchase amount is known — during which time BLE pairing is established — meaning the customer is free to continue packing or speaking to the merchant while the transaction is being processed.

“In addition, the same two-way BLE link can be used to send offers, loyalty points or coupons to the customer’s phone in the interim to encourage repeat visits.”

Nets is due to launch a mobile payment service in Denmark this autumn that makes use of host card emulation (HCE) technology from Japanese card issuer JCB.

More than 200 banks across northern Europe gained the ability to deploy token-based secure mobile payments to their customers through a collaboration between Nets and Carta Worldwide in February 2016, making use of Carta’s Token Processing Appliance (TPA) turnkey tokenization platform.

HCE and tokenization

Nets is also supplying Danish banking collective The Bokis Partnership with HCE and tokenization technology to enable the 62 member banks to develop and launch their own mobile payments.

The BLE service in tandem with Spire Payments will be a separate offering to allow for “broad usage of mobile payments in Denmark,” the company confirmed to NFC World.

“We want to include users of iPhones that do not have an active NFC functionality,” Nets explained. “Hence, we have both developed an acceptance solutions for NFC and an alternative acceptance based on BLE and QR. This will allow all Danes, regardless of handset, to pay using their mobile wallet at the point of sale in Denmark.”

“Several Danish banks will roll out their wallet solutions starting this autumn as the Dankort card is mobile-enabled,” says Asger Hattel, group EVP and head of merchant services at Nets. “Acceptance is the key to success and, in collaboration with Spire Payments, this project will facilitate rapid nationwide coverage.”

Nets’ Hans Henrik Hoffmeyer discussed the lessons learned from selecting and implementing a tokenization solution able to serve 200 banks in an NFC World webinar in April 2016. The webinar is available to view here.

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