Rogers and CIBC launch “the future of mobile payments in Canada” for NFC-capable smartphones (Video)

Daniel Bader

May 15, 2012 12:00pm

Today Rogers and CIBC are launching what they refer to as “the future of mobile payments in Canada.” Using existing contact-less kiosks at retailers around the country (often provided by Moneris and TD) users can spend up to $50 on NFC-capable BlackBerry devices by connecting their CIBC Visa or Mastercard.

CIBC Senior Executive Vice-President David Williamson says that over 5% of Canadians have engaged in some form of smartphone-based mobile banking, and the bank was the first to launch a mobile app, a mobile trading app and, most recently, an iPad app. Rogers is touting over 250,000 NFC-capable devices on the market and is expecting to power up to 750,000 by the end of the year. With the recent standards announcement for mobile payments, this is just the beginning.

The idea is simple: by launching a specially-created CIBC app on your NFC-capable BlackBerry smartphone you will be able to make low-cost payments with existing Mastercard or Visa cards. The security comes from a secure Rogers SIM card that will start arriving in new phones in the coming months or, for existing users, in swapping out their existing SIM cards for the “secure” version.

The technology is also quite simple: nothing changes in terms of the transfer of information between existing wireless-capable credit cards and this new mobile system. There is a 30-second window to activate the contactless payment before which it will time out, and there is an option of adding a password to the mix, though due to the $50 limit it is not enforced.

When the payment system launches later this year it will be initially limited to NFC-capable BlackBerry devices including the Bold 9900, Bold 9790 and Curve 9360. It is in CIBC’s domain to expand the app to Android and, when it comes, to iPhone. Rob Bruce, President of Communications for Rogers, inferred that the technology would eventually come to Apple and its iPhone, though he didn’t explicitly say that NFC would be added to the next version of the hardware.

Bruce followed up with a humbling fact: 60% of Rogers customers have smartphones, and he says that within three years virtually every handset it sells will be NFC-capable. Considering that most customers rarely leave their smartphones at home, the ability to pay for most things without having to take out a wallet or swipe a credit card will be a huge benefit to customers.

Neither company offered a timeline for the rollout, other than to that “as soon as possible.” Nor would they commit on an expansion — Rogers to other banks, and CIBC to other carriers — though it was implied that this is a non-exclusive agreement.

The credit card paired to the app will have to be activated over the phone by CIBC, and if the phone is lost or stolen the SIM card can be shut down immediately, preventing unauthorized payments from being made even if there is no password on the app. Loyalty partners such as Petro Canada and Aeroplan are in on the fun, too, as points will be accumulated the same way as with plastic. So too is the fraud prevention the same, with CIBC monitoring every transaction for familiarity and frequency.

It’s too soon to say whether this will change the lives of many Canadians — unlikely in the short-term due to the limited carrier/bank/device rollout — but it’s a step in the right direction. No stickers, no fiddly settings, no mess. Virtually the same experience as using a plastic credit card, and available in thousands of retailers across the country. It’s not difficult to think that within five years smartphone payments will be about as ubiquitous as credit cards are today.

Via: CNW

  • Vinny

    All I see is Rogers is trying to find new ways to get into customers pockets…

  • cybik

    Not Google Wallet. Not touching a Carrier solution.

  • JB

    So its credit card that runs out of battery and can be hacked? And it runs on Rogers?

    What could possibly go wrong?

  • John

    Not banking with cibc, there bigger crooks than Rogers.

  • Toronto_Vic

    A step in the right direction

  • NFCWhat?

    lol, wonder why the iPhone is not being used? Because it is a dinosaur when it comes to anything other than its processor and screen. iPhone users are about to get a taste of what Apple is all about – aesthetics! Style over substance, fashion over function. That’s apple in a nutshell.

    No NFC, puny 3.5″ screen, a design that is almost 3 years old, a battery that lasts only slightly longer than their competitors (and with a MUCH smaller screen), thick & heavy when compared to it’s competitors and what do you get?

    I present to you, the NEW iPhone!

    • ylemaire

      Just wait for the NEW iPhone… probably NFC, LTE…. even my 3gs is better than this old shitty 9900

    • cybik

      @ylemaire You’re talking about the NEW new iPhone? The one with a quad-core CPU and a boosted GPU {mimicking the international One X’s Tegra3 or the SGS3’s Exynos4), and all the Galaxy Nexus’ features? That phone? I’d rather the next Nexus, at least it’ll have stable NFC, whereas the “new new” iPhone will be the first of its kin to have NFC, and thus that’ll be unstable as s**t. And limited.

    • Rio

      What about it gets updates on time and not 6 months later. It’s seamless operations with no lag.

      Not to mention not all android phones have NFC.

      The iPhone is for a different set of population. There is no better or worse, the iPhone is made for a different Audience and the Galaxy 3 is made for a different audience.

  • Dan S

    I’m proud to work for CIBC! I hope this is available for Fido as well. Finally I can put NFC on my 9900 to good use.

  • rickythai

    if Wind Mobile is so good, why didnt CIBC choose them? can anyone answer me?

    • OgtheDimd

      Meh……….troll wars are boring.

      Better question: How come they announced something with no timelines now?

      What is coming soon that they have to beat the rush to try to get out in front of, even though they have nothing and sound like RIM?

      Yes, Google Wallet.

      And nobody in the technology media who knows that asks Rogers and CIBC why?

  • WP7Lova!

    @NFCWhat? … just a shot in the dark, you don’t like Apple?

  • brandon atkinson

    Waiting for Google wallet to be launched in Canada… or BMO with telus…. need something to work with my Galaxy Nexus.

  • Jeff

    brandon – google wallet already works in Canada…albeit with a bit of a work around. Search on xda to get it to work…
    i registered google wallet and I got $15 for signing up! That’s like 7 trips to timmy’s!

    you can even load it up if you use a prepaid vanilla mastercard (e.g. from shopper’s) so you can leave your wallet at home…it’s just a shame that the big three/crtc/big banks in Canada are trying to block us from using a convenient FREE all purpose solution…
    but with galaxy nexus/s, there is a simple work around that works well…

    • Warren

      Jeff, Canadian’s are no longer able to load the Vanilla card because it now require’s a SSN when activating :(. Unless its official here soon, the only thing to do is spend the $15 from Google wisely, lol

  • Mac

    Interesting they focused on doing blackberry first. I still don’t want any carrier involvement though- it will just be another cash grab

    • jess

      Probably its best to test it out on the phones with the best security.

  • Phil

    Use Google wallet…If you run a Nexus phone you can do it.

  • Netguru

    “the ability to pay for most things without having to take out a wallet or swipe a credit card will be a huge benefit to customers.” Really? How lazy does someone have to be to derive a “huge benefit” from not taking out a credit/debit card. In return for this “huge benefit”, customers are exposing both their financial information and purchasing habits to Rogers.

    • Daniel Bader

      @Netguru, Rogers does not have access to any transaction information. They are merely acting as the technological security conduit for the CIBC. From an operating and logistics perspective the service is no different than tapping your credit card at a Moneris terminal. Are you worried that the merchant has access to your financial information? The transaction is perhaps even more secure than a plastic card because no PIN numbers are being entered (only a password to get into the app) and there is a $50 limit.

  • 5Gs

    So let me get this straight. When i was with rogers I was always worried about my bill to come right for once in my 3 years contract.. Always a mistake made. Where i end up talking to customer service for 2 or 3 hours to prove my innoncent.

    And now that I am with Wind. I actually have them on pre authroized because the trust they have earned from my side.

    I left rogers for some serious reason.

    Now rogers is dealing with credit cards.. hahahahahahaha Good luck to those people who still fall for their traps..

  • Netguru

    @Daniel Bader, I understand the technology employed. It was the same with credit and debit cards, online payments, Interac transfers, etc. The theory sounded great…the reality was very different. How many times have we seen financial data siphoned off in ways that were never contemplated by the developers of the technology. Today, even with chips in the cards, people are still getting scammed.

    So it will be with NFC payments. Scammers will find ways to intercept and decode the data. Even though Rogers is not supposed to have access to the data, that conduit, as you refer to it, is a weak link in the chain. Anybody who has the requisite skills within Rogers (with or without Rogers knowledge) could access the data flowing through that conduit. Even if Rogers were above reproach (which they are not), the temptation would be there for people to hack into their system to access the data.

    • Andrew

      If someone wanted to steal your credit card info, they can do it even if its in your pocket. There isn’t anything that is 100% safe when it comes to money transaction. The thing that NFC provides is having your “card” by you at all times. Noone takes your card from you to swipe and there are no numbers or signatures to give away.

      NFC just takes tapping your card and moves it to your phone. Your bank’s app controls the card and signal it sends to the reader.

  • kevin

    This is the stupidest idea ever. It is so inconvenient to carry a 5-gram credit card (86mm x 54 mm) with me. Blackberry is so much more convenient at at least 100g and (109 x 60 x 11 mm)?

    Shame on you CIBC and Rogers for your low quality of services and stupid good-for-nothing products!

    • Andrew

      The Blackberry replaces all your cards in your 500g wallet. Air Miles, shoppers, scene card, etc

  • imjohnh

    Wait a second, there’s something wrong here.

    If they’re showing BB’s in the photo, it must be a service aimed at teenagers. (Who else uses BB’s besides teenagers, your wife and 50+ year old sales guys who didn’t get the memo that checking your email on a BB is no longer a status symbol?)

    Sooooo, if it’s teenagers with a blackberry they’re after, good luck – they don’t have any money to spend on NFC transactions! If they did, they’d be rocking white iphones with ugly hard plastic cases.

    • jess

      Can’t tell if serious..

  • 4u2nv

    The problem is and had always been the Canadian banking system. I am lucky to be a dual citizen of both Canada and the US. I do 99.9% of my banking with American banks that allow me to cash my checks from home (via a scanner) as well as all the other Canadian online banking services. The point is I have NFC working with my US account flawlessly pay very slight fees in comparison and don’t have the silly rules of the Canadian banking system…

  • Lugnuts McGruff

    Yeah anyways…

    When the F**k is Google Wallet coming to Canada already? Didn’t that Google Canada schmuck state something to the effect of “We want Canada to become Google’s Beta test market” or something like that?

    Seriously, as soon as I hear to do with Carrier involvement w/mobile payments I’m already turned off.

    If I choose to load a mobile payment app on my android device that’s my business and only my business. If I hear that RoBellus has any involvement whatsoever I’m already turned off.

  • Pacoup

    I cannot wait for the average store clerk who doesn’t know what that is and goes “you want to pay with your phone??? WUT”