RBC, Bell Team Up on Mobile Payments (May 14, 2013)
Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) has teamed up with telecom provider Bell Canada to announce a new mobile payment system that will enable RBC customers to make purchases online and in stores using NFC-compatible smartphones on Bell’s mobile network. Expected to launch by the end of this year, the service will be integrated into RBC’s existing mobile banking app, where it will appear as an additional option on the home screen, enabling users to pay for purchases using stored data from RBC credit and debit cards. Compatible smartphones include several BlackBerry models and a range of Android devices from manufacturers including HTC, LG, Samsung and Sony. The companies will begin testing the service in a limited run this summer. Dave McKay, group head, personal and commercial banking, RBC, called the new initiative “the first piece of a broad RBC mobile commerce solution rolling out to clients this year.”
RBC and Bell’s announcement came just days after another Canadian bank, CIBC, said it was expanding the availability of its own NFC payment app to several Android smartphone models. CIBC’s system—a partnership with Rogers Communications Inc.—initially worked only on two BlackBerry models when it was unveiled in November of last year. Rogers, meanwhile, is in the process of obtaining a bank license, which would enable the telco to offer expanded payment solutions of its own. Earlier this month, Rogers was granted a license for the name “Rogers Bank,” and now has a year to meet certain requirements from Canada’s Finance Ministry in order to be fully licensed as a bank.