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NCR to unveil contactless payment terminals for mobile

August 18, 2009

ncrNCR Corp. along with Vivotech has introduced contactless payment terminals for the point of sale, bringing closer the dream – or nightmare – of turning the mobile phone into a wallet.

This NCR RealPOS technology will allow mobile and contactless payment at customer touch-points, including retail checkout, restaurant drive-through and the diner’s table.

“This is one of a number of initiatives that we’re working on in mobile,” said Brad Tracy, industry marketing director at NCR, Dayton, OH.

Vivotech is a software provider of near-field communications mobile phone payments, over-the-air provisioning of promotions and payment cards and smart poster applications.

Retailers are the first group being targeted with these payment devices that will be used to make contactless payment possible.

An estimated 60,000 merchants nationwide are using the devices, albeit a fraction of the market for this product.

The payment devices are being tried where the purchase price of the item is under $25. But it is beginning to go well beyond that, with some new customers such as Meyer and Office Depot.

Executives attending the National Retail Federation’s Annual Convention & Expo, Jan. 13-16 in New York will be able to see demonstrations of the NCR RealPOS contactless payment readers in the NCR booth.

The NCR RealPOS contactless payment products are compatible with a variety of other NCR products including NCR RealPOS workstations, NCR EasyPoint kiosks and NCR FastLane self-checkouts, in addition to NCR and partner POS software applications.

Mr. Tracy anticipates that the mobile phone will soon become the electronic wallet of the consumer. It will also help in building loyalty.

“We think the cell phone can become a platform for communication between business and the consumer,” he said.

He said that not just retailers but business as a whole can benefit from mobile for purposes such as content downloads and commercial transactions in addition to communication.

However, it may be time before the mobile phone becomes a ubiquitous wallet, at least in the United States.

“I think the challenge with this is less of a technical challenge and less of a marketing challenge and that is while cell phones are extremely prevalent today, it’s going to be a period of time before the cell phones of today are fully capable of taking advantage of this new technology,” Mr. Tracy said.

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Giselle Tsirulnik is senior editor at Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at

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