Bank of America is now testing out a mobile payment service that uses QR codes. Now iOS and Android smartphone users can scan QR codes to pay for their purchases.
Developed by Paydiant, the system makes use of QR code rather than near-field communication technology. This means that the user does not need any special chips or equipment other than their smartphones. This also ensures that even those using iPhones would be able to use the system for payments.
This seems to be an offshoot of Apple’s recent decision not to include NFC on its flagship iPhone 5. Without NFC capability, iPhones may not be used to pay on an NFC mobile payment system.
Bank of America’s payment system is fairly easy to use too, requiring the buyer to scan the QR codes. The QR codes bring up the user’s Bank of America account and pays for the purchases.
It is a lot easier for merchants too. Storeowners can display the QR code near the cash registers, while a restaurant owner can put up the codes on tabletops and just let their diners scan the code to pay for their food. What’s more, they do not have to buy an NFC terminal for to register the purchases.
The end of NFC for Bank of America?
Does this mean that Bank of America is abandoning NFC as a mobile payment technology? This seems contrary to how the rest of the world is going with Google and Isis using NFC with their mobile payment systems. A representative from Bank of America interviewed by Reuter declined to comment on the bank’s future plans with NFC. Nor were there any indications that the system would be open for those using Windows Phone and Blackberry smartphones.
The Bank of America trial will run for three months and currently only involves the bank’s employees.
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