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Texas banks offer tap-and-pay service at retail point of sale

August 25, 2010

bling-nationAmerican National Bank and Guaranty Bond Bank now offer tap-and-pay as an option to pay for purchases at point of sale.

Account-holding customers at both Texan banks can sign up and receive a “BlingTag” that acts just like a debit card and works at a variety of local stores. The banks are using technology from mobile payment services provider Bling Nation.

“Financial institutions look to Bling Nation for a great way to connect to their community in a meaningful way and leverage technology to stay relevant in this day and age,” said Wences Casares, co-CEO of Bling Nation, Palo Alto, CA.

“Bling Nation has a compelling offering of services and is a perfect fit for what they wanted to do in the community,” he said.

Guaranty Bond Bank is an $890 million asset bank serving 11 communities in Texas. The pertinent executive could not be reached at press time.

American National Bank of Mt. Pleasant, TX, is independent and locally owned, serving northeast Texas. It did not return a call by deadline.

Iced assets
By attaching the BlingTag microchip sticker to the back of their mobile devices, consumers with either bank can complete transactions directly from their checking account using their phone.

Once the funds transfer from the consumers’ accounts, a text message containing confirmation and account balance is received.

Because the BlingTag contains no personal information, losing one does not put a consumer at risk for identity fraud.

Bling Nation claims that carrying a BlingTag is safer than a credit or debit card.

“If it is lost or stolen, canceling the BlingTag ensures there can be no fraudulent charges to an account, and that there will be no loss of personal information,” Mr. Casares said.

Bling Nation’s mobile payment services unite financial institutions and businesses. It allows customers to use their mobile phones to tap and pay for purchases and receive text account balance and transaction confirmations at the point of sale.

Bling fling
This is both banks’ first time embracing mobile banking, expanding beyond the traditional method of payment via credit or debit card.

To promote the services, Guaranty Bond Bank and American National Bank are working within communities to promote BlingTag and educate consumers.

BlingTags are offered within local retailers. Some merchants are offering customer loyalty rewards for those who sign up and use the service within their stores.

Bling Nation in April opened its BlingTag option to consumers at Community State Bank (see story). It was extended to Valley National Bank customers in June. (see story).

“Bling Nation is always looking for new ways to improve the service and is adding more and more communities,” Mr. Casares said.

“For instance, you may have heard about our recent introductory program in Palo Alto with PayPal,” he said. “We are excited about what will come next in this emerging market.”

Final Take
Kaitlyn Bonneville, editorial assistant at Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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