The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) has reportedly become the first financial institution in North America to launch a mobile payment service using host card emulation (HCE) technology after the bank was satisfied with a December 2014 pilot.
Commenting on the new service in an interview with NFC World, RBC said,
“We’ve now rolled out HCE to the RBC Wallet within the RBC Mobile app. HCE will allow our clients to use any NFC enabled Android phone to pay at the point-of-sale using their RBC Wallet. The roll out of HCE means that more RBC clients can use the RBC Wallet anywhere in the world without worrying about being on a specific mobile network or having the right SIM card.”
Within the statement above, RBC points to several of the critical factors that to this point have limited the consumer adoption of mobile payments. Without many of the limits, this new mobile payment service in theory should be more likely to succeed given that its acceptance network and potential consumer base is broader than other similar services. However whether Canadian consumers, including RBC customers are ready and willing to make mobile payments will only be answered over time.
Overview by Tristan Hugo-Webb, Associate Director, Global Payments Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group
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