The pilot will take place in Palo Alto, in the heart of Silicon Valley. Consumers participating in the trial will be issued with a contactless sticker linked to their PayPal account which they affix to the back of their mobile phone. To make a payment, they will simply tap their phone at the point of sale and transaction details will be forwarded to a back office processor which will approve the transaction, debit the consumer’s account and credit the merchants account — all in real time.
The consumer will then be sent an SMS text message confirming the transaction details and providing the current balance on their account.
Bling Nation’s technology is specifically designed to reduce costs by cutting out middlemen, such as acquirers, processors and brands such as Visa and MasterCard. The technology is also NFC ready, meaning that it will work with NFC phones once they have become widely available, and the company has now signed up a number of local banks in the US who have reported considerable take up of the service amongst both consumers and merchants.
Bling Nation is “currently finalising technical integration and testing,” the company has told NFC World, and is “focused on securing local business partners in the Palo Alto area to participate. More information will be made available once the program has launched and sufficient time has passed to be able to evaluate results.”