Add NFC to carrier billing for txtNation's new mobile payment recipe
U.K.-based direct carrier-biller txtNation is combining two mobile payment technologies into one streamlined solution for Britain's early adopters. The company is working with RapidNFC, a provider of NFC tags and technology, on a product that would use NFC tags to prompt a payment and use a consumer's monthly phone bill to handle the purchase.
TxtNation described the new product in a post on the company blog. The basics of the purchase are as simple as they would be with any other direct carrier-billing transaction, placing the cost of a purchase on the consumer's monthly wireless bill.
The consumer scans a special NFC tag with an NFC-enabled phone to launch a payment flow that uses MSISDN pass-through, which allows the payment flow to access the number associated with the phone. A text message confirms the payment. Once confirmed, the charge is billed to customer's mobile number.
Because the phone itself is the payment mechanism, there's no need to link the payment to a credit, debit or bank account. Payment would take a limited number of clicks to confirm. This not only simplifies the purchase but also makes it more secure since there's no need to store credit or debit card information. (One caveat: when the phone is accessing the web through WiFi, the user will be prompted to enter the phone's number to begin the payment process.)
"It's great to be first to market with this," said txtNation director and co-founder Jon Rowsell in the post. "It's something we've been conceptualizing for a while and to be able to finally offer NFC, combined with carrier billing, for those early end-user and merchant adopters, means that anyone with an NFC-enabled phone in the U.K. can use this. More and more phones are coming with NFC enabled, and clients are wanting to take advantage of this impressive technology."
The solution isn't in use yet, but txtNation and Rapid NFC are offering businesses the opportunity to try it for free, even volunteering to ship them pre-encoded NFC tags. The NFC chips can also be incorporated into smart posters and wristbands or promotional items like pens or key fobs, the companies said.
"We've been approached by a number of clients looking for a quick and simple way of making NFC payments" says Phil Coote, CEO of RapidNFC, "and to date we haven't been able to recommend anything as there has been nothing in the market worth shouting about. When txtNation approached us with this concept, we immediately knew this was going to be a ground breaking product and set to work on a prototype. The result is fantastic, nothing like we have seen before and so easy for clients to deploy [in order] to accept payments from not only all those with NFC on their handsets, but anyone with a mobile internet browser."
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