Coles supermarkets has begun trialling an NFC based payments and rewards system in their stores. In December 2011, Coles rolled out NFC point of sale terminals to all their stores giving them the infrastructure to launch the trial in conjunction with Mastercard, Vodafone, GE Capital Australia and NFC infrastructure company Gemalto.
The trial involves 60 participants, and sees users downloading the MasterCard Mobile Wallet app and linking their Flybuys account to the application. This allows them to purchase goods while accruing Flybuys points for each purchase. Owing to the lack of access to the secure element in Android phones, NFC enabled SIM cards are being used for the trial imitating those trials being conducted by ANZ and Westpac.
This latest NFC Payment system trial highlights the current lack of, and need for, an industry-wide standard for NFC payments. The overly-complicated route involving an NFC-enabled SIM card as seen in these trials could easily be solved by Google simply allowing access to the secure element in Android based phones. With Google’s seeming lack of interest in deploying Google Wallet outside of the US, it seems that this method is all we can currently look forward to in adopting NFC enabled SmartPhones as a method of payment.
Are you looking forward to one day using your NFC enabled phone to pay for goods and services?