Doctoral students at the University of Zurich have released an open-source tool that could broaden the mobile payment process on campus.
The mobile wallet solutions is called CoinBlesk, and is the brainchild of a group of University of Zurich graduates that wanted to deliver mobile payments using two-way Near Field Communication. The student-led project is being implemented in the university’s cafeteria.
Per the solution’s website, the goal of CoinBlesk is to implement an open source solution that enables Bitcoin payments using a mobile device. CoinBlesk includes a Bitcoin payment server where the seller and the buyer will be able to process Bitcoin payments, with the communication between buyer and seller leveraging NFC-enabled devices.
The CoinBlesk wallet brings a unique facet to Bitcoins because it’s a two-way solution. Two-way NFC communication is key because it allows payment handling from either party.
According to The Coin Telegraph, students finalize a transaction using Bitcoins with a tap of their mobile device. This same method has been explored in other electronic payment verticals, but its use in the higher education space is yet to catch on en masse.
The transactions are instant and secure, taking less than one second, provided both parties have installed the necessary software.
The wallet is only usable with certain operating systems, however. Students’ smart phones or tablets must be running Android 4.4 or later and must be NFC enabled.
The supposed addition of NFC to the iPhone 6 will surely help applications like CoinBlesk, but NFC point-of-sale equipment remains a significant investment for merchants. Adoption is still the key ingredient for NFC’s success in any vertical, higher education included.
People keep coming back to it. Besides the Munich-based two-way project, other Bitcoin startups are toying around with its capabilities. If the tool takes off, Bitcoin could be poised to take advantage of the CoinBlesk on campus.