iPhone users can now access mobile payments using NFC technology thanks to the Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest. The FIs are launching TouchPay, a mobile contactless payments service for iPhone 4 and 4S models that uses a special protective case containing an embedded NFC antenna and SIM chip to hold a customer's payment credentials.

Once users have downloaded and installed TouchPay app and case on an iPhone, they need only tap their smartphones on NFC-enabled POS terminals to make a payment. Users can quickly make payments up to £20 ($32) using their phones without a PIN.

RBS and NatWest are limiting the pilot phase to 1,000 customers, but the banks said that in the near future, TouchPay will be made available to all RBS and NatWest customers who have iPhones.

According to the TouchPay announcement, security company Giesecke & Devrient will provide trusted service manager service, data generation for payment applications, and fulfilment of the protective cases.

“TouchPay has proven incredibly popular and shows that our customers want more flexible and convenient ways to pay," said Ben Green, head of mobile at RBS. "The TouchPay service means that our customers need only to carry their smartphone with them to make payments and manage their finances wherever they are."

For more stories on this subject, visit the NFC/Contactless research center.

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