BankTech

7 Mobile Wallets, Payment Apps offered by Banks

The mobile money market is expected to grow to $721 Bn by 2017 according to Gartner estimates. Solutions are appearing in this field from not only FinTech industry but also Retail, Connected Devices and Technology industry with Apple and Amazon joining the fray. It is no wonder that everyone from big players like PayPal, Google, ISIS to startups such as ZooZ, Clutch, Corduro and CloudZync are all rushing to grab a share of this market. Banks on the other hand were a little late to the party, but it seems to me that they are catching on.

Some of the mobile payment apps offered by banks have been discussed below:

RBC Wallet:

In July 2013, the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) had announced plans to launch an NFC based mobile payments service that stores customer’s card details in the cloud. Earlier this month we talked about the developments regarding the initative. On 21st January 2014, the bank followed through with their statement about the introduction of RBC Wallet – enables users to make payments at any location in Canada that is equipped with Interac Flash or Visa PayWave POS terminals.

  • The RBC Wallet offers added security and protection. The client’s payment information (including card details) is stored virtually within RBC Secure Cloud and not on his mobile.
  • Payments made via RBC Wallet are protected by the RBC Online Banking Security Guarantee.
  • The bank says that the RBC Wallet will be adding MasterCard and be available on more devices in the spring of 2014. 

“When consumers download the RBC mobile banking application, they will be given the opportunity to enable their Wallet — an incredibly seamless process,” Linda Mantia, V.P of cards and payment solutions at RBC, stated at the time. “There will be a Wallet option within the RBC mobile app. When the consumer clicks that, it will get loaded for them and once it’s loaded, there will be a passcode that they enter at the point of sale and, when they want to make a transaction, they will tap or hover their device over the terminal. What happens in the background is the data is transmitted, encrypted and decoded on the device at the point of sale but all of the consumer’s real data is stored in servers that sit behind the RBC firewall.”

Zapp:

Zapp, a British mobile payments startup, recently partnered with 5 major banks – First Direct, HSBC, Nationwide, Metro Bank and Santander – to offer its services directly to consumers without the involvement of any carriers. Zapp is a mobile payments startup formed by payments infrastructure operator VocaLink. Merchant acquirers Optimal Payments, WorldPay, Sage Pay and Realex have already signed up for the service. These four processors’ customer base combined, includes 60% of UK merchants.

  • When users reach the checkout, a code will be sent to their mobile.
  • They can then confirm or reject the transaction with the swipe of a finger.
  • Unlike chip and pin cards, Zapp doesn’t hand over sensitive information, such as card numbers and expiry dates, that can be used by criminals.
  • Zapp uses secure digital tokens that mean consumers don’t need to reveal any of their financial details to merchants during a transaction.
  • It is also fully integrated into financial institutions’ mobile banking apps, enabling consumers to select from multiple accounts when they make a purchase and see their account balances. 

Digicash:

Digicash, the bank led payments service, has expanded its QR-based mobile payments platform. It now includes new POS beacons that support QR Code, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and NFC technology. The new Digicash Beacons are being tested in Luxembourg, Europe.

The test is being conducted ‘under field conditions’ by certain banks – Post, BIL and BCEE at Cora supermarkets; as well as a few convenience stores and Apple reseller Lineheart. The first SEPA payments with Digicash using the Beacon concept have been successfully performed in the last weeks according to them.

This video gives you an overview of Digicash Beacon Payment:

  • When using Digicash Beacon, required payment-related data is transmitted automatically to the payer’s smartphone when the phone is held close to the device.
  • Terminals at the POS use the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology, as well as NFC and QR Codes.
  • This automatically provides the user with the best user experience based on the features of his smartphone.
  • Users who want to pay by Digicash do not need to link a credit card or to top-up a wallet.
  • Payments made using Digicash are performed directly from the user’s existing bank account using SEPA credit transfers. 

Bankinter:

In 2013, Spanish lender Banktinker and Seglan developed a mobile based payment solution to enable customers to securely and instantly create a onetime-use debit or credit card on their smartphone. Bankinter announced later in February 2014, that the Mobile Virtual Card (MVC) solution was ready for commercial launch around Q2/Q3 2014.

  • The user downloads the MVC application into his Smartphone.
  • He then securely registers, via either web, phone banking or at the banking branch.
  • One or many of his existing debit or credit cards can be used for EMV mobile payments at merchant locations.
  • This solution does not require any changes to the existing acceptance infrastructure (POS terminals) for NFC proximity payments.
  • It does not require to have network connectivity at the time of payment.
  • The solution also enables the bank to autonomously define its own business model and brand image in mobile payment media, without entering into an agreement with third parties.
  • Basically, the cards registered by the user can be updated with the help of a remote management system 100% integrated into the Mobile Virtual Card client-server system of the financial institution. 

“Blackberry has been the company leading Host Card Emulation technology, and we are glad to recognize their major contribution to HCE-based mobile payments. Google later announcement (Nov/13) about HCE support on their new Android 4.4 Kit Kat operating system has allowed us to build a wide enough commercial proposal for our customers. We are convinced that iOS and Windows Phone will incorporate HCE very soon,” Jacobo Díaz, Director of Innovation at Bankinter, stated at the time. “The Mobile Virtual Card solution eliminates the main difficulties that have slowed the commercial launch of NFC payments and make it in compatibility with the standards of the financial industry on which many banks have invested along the last 10 years.”

KIX:

On 4th April 2014, French Banking Group BNP Paribas announced the launch of the revamped version of KIX – its contactless mobile payments app. According to them, almost 12% of merchants in France accept contactless payments already and atleast 31% of the bank cards in France are equipped with contactless payment feature.

Kix is a Visa app managed by Gemalto’s trusted service manager platform. It utilizes NFC technology and is compatible with 25 smartphones running Android, and with this latest version – Windows Phones too. The mobile payment app is available for any users that have a subscription with Orange, BNP Paribas Mobile, SFR or Sosh.

This video gives you an overview:

  • Payments can be made just by bringing the phone within 4 cm of the payment terminal
  • KIX supports transactions of up to EUR €20. For larger purchases up to €300 (with a monthly ceiling of €1500), users have to enter a pin number on their phone.
  • Before downloading and activating the app, users sign up to use Kix at one of the bank’s 2,200 branches to receive their PIN number.
  • It also gives the ability to block the app if the mobile phone is lost or stolen. 

BNP Paribas also announced that as of 1 March 2014, over 3.5 Mn of its users possessed a contactless card and that over 1 Mn payments were made via contactless technology in 2013.

Paym:

A couple of weeks back, I had written about Paym – a new service is all set to enable users of Britain’s nine biggest banks to send money to each other via their mobile phones. It was announced that Paym would go live on April 29th meaning users may never have to ask anyone for their current account number or sort code by the end of this month.

Registrations began on 2nd April 2014, for the 30 Million users of Barclays, Bank of Scotland, Cumberland Building Society, Halifax, HSBCLloyds Bank, Santander and TSB Bank. Danske Bank users however, can register from April 25th. Metro Bank and Ulster bank are two others that are finalizing their plans to join.

  • Before you use Paym, register your mobile number and the current account you’d like payments made into.
  • Your friends will then be able to pay directly into your current account using just your mobile number – no sort codes or account numbers.
  • Using your existing mobile banking or payments app, select a friend’s number using your contacts or enter a mobile number manually.
  • You’ll be asked to confirm the name of the recipient. Once you’re happy, check the amount and press send.
  • You will then receive confirmation that your payment has been sent.
  • The money will appear in your account.
  • You will be able to send up to £250 a day, although you may be offered a higher daily limit.
  • You don’t need a smartphone to receive payments but you will still need to register your mobile number.

On the security front the company says, that your details are held securely and are fully protected by data protection laws. The only information stored will be the details needed to send or receive payments.

CIBC:

Canadian bank – CIBC – recently partnered with mobile network operator Telus to bring about a new mobile payments app. The new mobile app will enable some models of smartphone that run on the Telus network to make payments upto $100 using credit card. These small purchases can accommodate items such as gas, groceries etc. CIBC already has a prior partnership with Rogers Communication for NFC based virtual wallet. 

  • All your mobile purchases are tracked on your CIBC credit card statement, so it’s easy to keep an eye on your spending.
  • If you have a CIBC rewards credit card, the more you use the App for your purchases, the more rewards you’ll earn.
  • The CIBC Mobile Payment App is accepted at thousands of locations across Canada, the United States and overseas. Any terminal that accepts VISA payWave® or MasterCard PayPass™ will also support transactions with the Mobile Payment App.  

Chiraag Patel

Chiraag Patel is a Senior Reporting Analyst and the Editor of Bitcoin and Virtual Currency channels at Lets Talk Payments. He is an engineer with deep interest in MMORPG, Virtual Banking, Game Currency and Virtual Cash. Chiraag enjoys Reading& Blogging with focus on New Innovation, Technology & Startups in the Payments Space.

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