U.S.: Multiapp Trial Involves Transit Agency, Fast-Food Restaurant


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Countinue Reading


San FranciscoUnited States
Jan 2008
Main Application: 
Ticketing (transit), Payment
Mobile Operator: 
Service Provider (application): 
Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART transit application), Jack in the Box (stored-value payment via First Data, smart poster service)
Jack in the Box
NFC Handsets: 
Samsung SPH-A920M
Secure Element: 
Other Vendors: 
Vivotech (readers), Cubic (systems integration), Western Union (reload of transit purse), NXP Semiconductors (NFC phone chip), Acumen Transit (phone software), Booz Allen Hamilton (strategy)

The four-month trial was perhaps the first NFC payment project in the U.S. with neither MasterCard nor Visa involved directly. Users could reload their stored-value accounts to pay for hamburgers and fries at Jack in the Box on their PCs or by handing over cash to the counter person. The account was stored on the back-end. The customers could automatically top up transit value over the air once the user’s balance dropped below $10. Participants reportedly got nearly $50 in value for free rides when they started the trial. Users could also tap smart posters at transit stations to download special offers and get directions to the nearest Jack in the Box.

NFC Times Take: 

The trial put the concept of multiapp NFC through its paces stateside, including OTA downloads of value. Trial likely won’t be the last NFC project for big U.S.-based processor First Data, which believes mobile phones can help it sell more gift-card services to merchants. The processor is embarking on a rollout of contactless open-loop stickers customers can attach to the back of their phones. NFC is next. This was one of the few NFC trials for Sprint, although the U.S.'s No. 3 mobile operator is said to be considering another project.


Transit authority BART and other trial organizers reported participants took 9,000 rides during the four-month trial, an average of 50 trips per month for each user. They also topped up their transit accounts more than 800 times over the air. Surveys showed more than 80% of the trial participants considered the mobile wallet used in the trial, “easy to use.”



* 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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