A multi-city NFC trial launched this week in Memphis, Tennessee and Jackson, Mississippi thanks to Cellular South. About 75 of the wireless operator’s customers will use a Kyocera phone to make payments at 50-plus merchant locations and vending machines. The trial will run through August 2007 “with an anticipated widespread consumer roll-out of WirelessWallet in early 2008.” Technology for the trial includes terminals and both handset and OTA software from ViVOtech as well as vending machine readers from USA Technologies.
NOW YOUR CELL PHONE CAN PICK UP THE TAB
CELLULAR SOUTH LAUNCHES FIRST MULTI-CITY WIRELESS WALLET TRIAL
Consumer Trial of New Mobile Payment Technology Kicks Off in Memphis, Tenn., and Jackson, Miss.
Jackson, Miss. (June 6, 2007) – Cellular South, the nation’s largest privately held wireless provider, today announced the launch of the first-ever multi-city consumer trial of its ground-breaking WirelessWallet service – a new technology that enables consumers to make purchases and payments using their cell phone.
The two-city trial, taking place in Memphis, Tenn., and Jackson, Miss., is a first for a U.S. regional wireless provider. In addition, this is the first mobile wallet trial in the country to engage multiple retailers within a community. More than 75 Cellular South customer participants will test the technology at nearly 50 retail locations – further strengthening Cellular South’s position as a wireless innovator driving widespread m-commerce adoption.
“The WirelessWallet trial gives us the opportunity to listen to our customers in two significant markets, learn from their hands-on experiences and improve an already premier mobile payment product,” said Greg Latour, senior vice president of technology development for Cellular South. “Conducting a comprehensive, multi-city test gives us the experience and broad-based knowledge to perfect the product and deliver the best, most reliable mobile payment service to our customers.”
Calling on Partners
To bring the WirelessWallet consumer trial to life, Cellular South called on some of the nation’s largest mobile payment innovators.
Kyocera Wireless. The WirelessWallet technology uses a handset from Kyocera Wireless, a leading global manufacturer of wireless devices and accessories. The wireless device acts as a digital credit card that allows Cellular South customers to make payments and purchases by simply tapping it against a Near Field Communication (NFC)-enabled wireless reader. The company plans to complete the trial by August 2007, with an anticipated widespread consumer roll-out of WirelessWallet in early 2008.
“Whether it’s paying for the dry cleaning or purchasing lunch at the nearest café, we’re helping to make mobile payment technology a reality for consumers,” said Dave Carey, vice president of strategic planning at Kyocera Wireless Corp. “We’re excited to work with Cellular South to help transform the way people pay for goods and services.”
ViVOtech. Cellular South has partnered with ViVOtech to provide the payment software that resides on the handset, the software for over-the-air provisioning of credit cards, smart posters and in-store contactless readers. According to Michael Mullagh, chief executive officer, ViVOtech, “Cell phones are the next frontier for contactless payments, and Cellular South is playing a major role by initiating this trial. Using our technology, Cellular South customers will soon be able to pay for goods and services without having to pull their credit card out of their wallet – ViVOtech makes it easy to download credit card information into NFC-enabled cell phones and to make payments by simply tapping the phone against an NFC-based wireless reader.”
Mpact, Inc. With Mpact, Inc. for trial development and management services, reader deployment and NFC content and delivery services; and USA Technologies (NASDAQ: USAT) to develop a contactless wireless reader designed for vending machines and other self-service point of sales applications, “NFC-enabled cell phones from Cellular South will transform the way consumers not only pay for goods and services by making it quicker than cash, check or swipe card, but also will enable Cellular South customers to receive information on their cell phones by tapping posters, pictures, and other NFC-tagged objects,” said Steve Ludlam, president of Mpact, Inc. “Using contactless phones from Cellular South will make life easier for wireless users.”
The Cellular South WirelessWallet trial is part of a suite of innovative consumer-focused m-commerce solutions. Last month, Cellular South introduced its new mobile payment service called Obopay, which allows customers the ability to instantly and effortlessly receive, send and spend money directly from their wireless device to anyone, anywhere, anytime. With Obopay’s user-friendly features, users can check account balances, get money owed from other mobile users, and view transaction histories, as well as invite friends to use the service.
To learn more about Cellular South’s WirelessWallet trial, visit www.cellularsouth.com/wirelesswallet. To receive more information about Obopay and all of Cellular South’s innovative mobile payment and m-commerce solutions, visit www.cellularsouth.com.
Explore more developments dealing with the implementation of Near Field Communications, a short-range wireless technology that promises to revolutionize contactless identification, payment, access, and more. Click to visit NFCNews.