Rogers Communications to bring NFC based virtual wallet in Canada

There are a number of mobile wallet providers today. Some companies offer NFC-based wallet products while others are cloud-based apps. Providers like Google have been moving away from secure element to HCE based NFC approach. However, Rogers announced on 7th November that it is launching a new virtual wallet Suretap that works on NFC technology to enable users to make payments with their phone.

Founded in 1960 by Ted Rogers, Rogers Communications Inc., is a media and communications company based in Ontario, Canada. The company previously partnered with CIBC on its mobile payment app. This brought the ability for consumers to use their smartphone to complete transactions up to $50. The limit was later increased to $100.

Rogers now struck a deal with MasterCard that allows users of Suretap to load up gift cards and pre-paid MasterCards from national retailers.

The Suretap wallet is set to be released during the next few weeks and is touted to be the 1st of its kind offered by a wireless carrier in Canada:

  • The company says that Suretap Wallet will allow NFC payments on ‘select BlackBerry and Android devices’.

  • The Suretap wallet claims to store payment card information and passcodes on the Sim card securely in select NFC-enabled smartphones.

  • This will enable customers with additional features including reloading of prepaid cards, gifting of gift cards and check account balance.

  • Suretap will also let consumers use location services to find contactless payment terminals nearby and view recent transactions.

  • Since its introduction in 2006, MasterCard has let Canadians tap their cards over 330 Mn a day for secure payments.

Here is a Video showing how Suretap works:

The arrival of our mobile wallet is a major step towards our vision of a mobile experience, where Canadians will quickly and securely access cards they carry in their physical wallet on their smartphone, said David Robinson, V.P, of Emerging Business, Rogers Communications Inc. We have built a strong foundation to deliver financial services and mobile commerce solutions, and we will continue to deliver mobile payments experiences that are beneficial for consumers and retailers across Canada he added.

Over 51% of NFC-enabled smartphone users in canada have used the smartphone to make a payment in 2012 according to a survey conducted by Harris Decima for Rogers. Atleast 46% of them claimed that they would be more inclined to make mobile payments if they were integrated with loyalty programs. According to Rogers NFC technology would allow participating merchants to continue working as they are without having to train new staff or upgrade their terminals to enable mobile payments.

Some of the other companies working in the mobile payments space in Canada include Ingenico ,CIBC, Donriver Inc., Enstream and Everlink Payment Services. Ingenico holds 65% of the market share of payment solutions in Canada according to the president of its North American branch, Thierry Denis. Ingenico has around 800,000 POS devices in Canada with 30% able to handle mobile payments according to the company. Their terminals are already equipped with NFC technology. Recently, Ingenico partnered with Stratix to offer a completely managed mPOS.

LTP View: Even with the slow start of NFC, a lot of industry experts say that NFC technology may be the way ahead for companies. With the infrastructure already getting in place, this could be the perfect time for Rogers to leverage this for Suretap. Another advantage is that participating merchants do not need to upgrade terminals. The company has First Mover Advantage with their NFC wallet.