NFC has arrived at Gonzaga University, Spokane, Wash., where vending machines with USA Technologies’ ePort are capable of reading an NFC-enabled cell phone. It coincides with an NFC pilot program currently underway in Spokane involving Nokia phones equipped with MasterCard PayPass.
MALVERN, Pa.–USA Technologies announced that vending machines equipped with Near Field Communications (NFC) capable ePorts have been unveiled at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington.
U.S. Bank, MasterCard Worldwide and Nokia have introduced a mobile payments pilot program in Spokane. Program participants received a new Nokia mobile phone equipped with MasterCard® PayPass™ payment functionality, which allows them to pay for purchases with a tap of their mobile phone, instead of sliding a card through a magnetic stripe reader, handing it over to the cashier, or fumbling for cash and coins. NFC is the next wave of cashless payment solutions beyond magnetic stripe and contactless credit and debit cards. NFC encrypts credit and debit card information using short distance radio waves and transmits the data directly to a payment device to enable purchases with cellular phones.
“Issuing banks and card companies are analyzing every kind of cashless payment device for speed and convenience and the ePort G6 is the first, proven cashless transaction device in vending that accepts all forms of cashless payment,” said John McLaughlin, vice president of business development, USA Technologies. “USA Technologies is the first to offer NFC wireless technology that allows consumers to make purchases with contactless cards as well as cellular phones from vending machines,” he said.
Mobile payments are on the rise in the United States and worldwide, and will be available to a growing number of U.S. Bank customers in the future. As of November 27, 2007, more than 80,000 merchants accept MasterCard PayPass, including many in the Spokane area, such as Regal Cinemas, McDonalds®, Jack in the Box® and 7-Eleven®. Gonzaga University will also accept PayPass at various vending machines throughout its campus in order to provide busy students and faculty with the fastest and most convenient payment option available.
USA Technologies has taken the leadership position in NFC and cashless vending. The Company has been enabling vending machines to accept NFC transactions since June 2006 and more than 20,000 NFC capable ePort terminals have been deployed across the country.
“According to recent analyst reports, there will be over 188 million contactless cards in the U.S. alone and over 470 million NFC-enabled phones in operation worldwide by 2011. With an estimated 190 million cellular phones in use by American consumers, and handset manufacturers and carriers are squarely focused on delivering payment capability and related services to consumers through this infrastructure,” said Mr. McLaughlin.
Also, see the ContactlessNews article here for more on the NFC/Spokane pilot.