U.S.: Citi Taps For Subway Fares in NYC
The six-month trial enabled a limited number of Citigroup PayPass credit and debit cardholders and fob carriers to tap their Nokia NFC phones to pay wherever PayPass was accepted stateside, including for fares on a line of the New York City Subway. The pilot was one of the first to use the Nokia 6131 NFC phone, a trial workhorse that is still in use in some projects, despite its passé clamshell design.
The trial is believed to be the first NFC pilot enabling users to directly pay their transit fares with the same bank application as they could tap for purchases at 7-Eleven convenience stores, McDonald’s restaurants and thousands of other merchant locations. Accepting payment from bank cards, fobs and phones at the turnstile required MasterCard and other project organizers to change processing and authorization rules and procedures. The pilot was also the first public test by Citigroup, the most active in NFC among the U.S.'s top four banks. Citi has since launched at least three other NFC trials, in Singapore, Bangalore and Toronto.
A Citi exec, M.V. “Raja” Rajamannar, in 2007 noted that transaction numbers were more than twice those of conventional (noncontactless) credit cards, according to preliminary results. Those results didn’t include customers paying subway fares, only with conventional merchants, mainly in New York City.
* Trusted Service Manager: Defined loosely to include companies or other organizations securely distributing, provisioning and managing applications, generally over the air, on secure elements in NFC mobile phones; or licensing their platforms for this purpose.
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