Canadian banks introduce mobile payment guidelines

Mon May 14, 2012 4:36pm EDT
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian banks presented a blueprint on Monday that will enable consumers to pay for goods with a tap of their smartphones, as financial institutions seek to take advantage of existing infrastructure that can support mobile payments.

Thousands of Canadian retailers already have the necessary equipment for mobile payments and the Canadian Bankers Association (CBA), a trade body, introduced the voluntary guidelines as a way of setting open standards for secure transactions over smartphones, which will be used as "tap-and-go" credit or debit cards.

"The financial institutions have come together to create a reference model that lays out how mobile payments can be launched in Canada efficiently, with a high degree of security and a compelling customer experience," said Stephen Gardiner, a managing director at consultancy Accenture Plc in Toronto. "These are all critical things to drive adoption."

The banks must still reach agreement with credit card and telecommunications companies before launching "mobile wallets."

Several sources involved in those talks said last month that the discussions were in their final stages.

Following the CBA announcement on Monday, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and Rogers Communications Inc

said they would unveil "an exciting new mobile innovation" on Tuesday.

A spokesman for CIBC, Canada's fifth-largest bank, would not elaborate on the nature of the announcement or whether it involved a mobile payments agreement.   Continued...