U.S.: Discover Pursues Contactless-Mobile Strategy With Sticker Trial

 

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Chicago and Salt Lake CityUnited States
Scope: 
Trial
Launch: 
Apr 2009
Main Application: 
Payment
Mobile Operator: 
N/A
Service Provider (application): 
Discover Financial Services (Zip)
Merchants: 
60,000-70,000 locations that accept Zip in the U.S.
Users: 
700
NFC Handsets: 
N/A
TSM*: 
None
Secure Element: 
Passive sticker

The trial puts Discover’s contactless Zip credit application on the embedded chip of passive stickers, which employees can attach to their phones or other devices and tap to pay wherever Zip is accepted in the U.S.

NFC Times Take: 

Discover hopes to develop mobile-contactless payment with stickers and then NFC phones. Discover is making sure Zip is accepted on most point-of-sale terminals that take competing contactless payment brands or applications, Visa payWave, MasterCard PayPass and ExpressPay from American Express. In November 2009, Discover certified Oberthur Technologies’ FlyBuy Sticker, which uses an Infineon Technologies chip, in advance of a likely launch in 2010. Zip cards may one day appear in the market, as well.

Results: 

Perhaps the most interesting finding of surveys conducted by Discover of the trial’s employee participants was that 69% of respondents said they would want the sticker hidden, such as inside the phone cover, with only 4% wishing it visible so that other people could see their phones were payment devices. Few said they would want their name or account number printed on the sticker. And when asked where they placed the sticker during the trial, surprisingly, only 44% put it on or inside their mobile phones or PDAs. But 32% put it on their ID badges. All told, 78% of survey respondents found the sticker easy to use. Most, 84%, said they would want to use the sticker in fast-food and convenience stores, with 81% also choosing discount stores, 78% gasoline stations and 78% supermarkets. When asked what would make them use the sticker more, 78% responded they wanted to see more merchant locations accept it. 29% also said they wanted better performance from the sticker–that is, not having to tap it more than once. Another 29% said they wanted a different form factor.

 

 

* 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.

N/A: Not available or not applicable.

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