BOA Trialing Mobile Wallet, Using NFC-Enabled BlackBerry
Bank of America has started to circulate email invitations to it’s exclusive Mobile Wallet trial. Mobile wallet is an an NFC (Near-Field Communication) based payment service that allows the user to make purchases by swiping their BlackBerry near a supported NFC reader.
The trial is expected to start this spring, and continue for several months. Only Bank of America debit or credit cards are supported. In order to bring NFC capability to existing BlackBerry devices, Bank of America is sending eligible testers a new battery cover, and new MicroSD card. Payments are accepted anywhere that Mastercard’s PayPass is accepted.
Supported devices include the BlackBerry Curve 8520 and 8530, BlackBerry Bold 9000, 9650 and 9700, and the BlackBerry Tour 9630. RIM recently recruited an NFC specialist that is likely now involved on this and future NFC projects. NFC payment systems are also rolling out in europe and other countries this year.