Rogers announced its suretap Wallet mobile payment system on November 7th. This will eventually allow customers with select Android and BlackBerry devices to use “co-branded virtual Rogers Prepaid MasterCard that can be loaded with funds to use at their favourite retailers across Canada.” This is an extension of the company’s suretap initiative and brings the true digital wallet one step closer to reality.
This was originally targeted to be released late 2013, but unfortunately the commercial rollout was delayed. Rogers stated in an email to us that, “We pilot all our programs internally and this often does take time. At this stage they’re working towards launching commercially in the New Year.” At the Wavefront Wireless Summit in Vancouver today, David Robinson, VP of Emerging Business at Rogers, gave a bit more insight into the upcoming suretap Wallet and declared it’ll be released “soon.”
Rogers has planned a phased approach to its mobile payment offering. The first phase was in 2013 with a partnership with CIBC, Visa and MasterCard with the launch of the suretap payment option with select NFC-enabled devices. This year we’ll see”Phase 2″ with the introduction of suretap Mobile Wallet, where Rogers and various partners will “introduce an easy to use and seamless user experience that starts to shift consumer payments to mobile wallet.”
Phase 3 will happen in 2015 or later and is called the “Transaction Experience.” In this era mobile payments will “seamlessly add value services in the transaction experience.”
Back to the suretap Wallet. Robinson stated that future Rogers devices will come preloaded with the suretap wallet, some might call this bloatware, or “you’ll wake up one day and it will have one of these wallets” pushed to your current device. I captured some screenshots from his presentation and it also looks like Rogers will embed a Rogers prepaid MasterCard into the device, possibly a branded “Rogers First Rewards” MasterCard.
The goal of the suretap Wallet is to rid yourself of all your plastic cards and your leather wallet. Rogers notes in one of the slides that customers will be able to “Find, learn, download, store and organize all your digital cards in one location on your ‘sureTap-ready’ mobile phone.” In addition, the initial launch will have a limited number of available cards, but Robinson stated that customers will be able to purchase and top up gift cards within the wallet, then gift them to a friend “without ever going to the physical store.”
Curious how Rogers Alerts and the new Rogers Mobile Shopper will come into play? Well, “customers may receive messages from issuers directly in wallet (i.e. accounts alerts, offers).” This of course, will be subscriber driven and users will have to opt-in. Another interested takeaway is that the maximum amount that PayPass and PayWave Point-of-Sale terminals allow for a contactless payment is a $100, so anything above that number will still actually need to use your plastic credit card. The good news, according to a stat in the presentation, is that 86% of face-to-face transactions are under $100.
The app looks to be well designed and intuitive. There’s a numeric passcode that must be entered to gain access and all the cards are all organized into categories, such as favourites, prepaid and gift cards with the option to see your transaction history.