The UK's Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest banks, both part of RBS group, have launched TouchPay, an NFC payments service first announced in July. The service uses iCarte add-ons for Apple iPhone 4 and 4S devices.
For the initial rollout, 1,000 of the Wireless Dynamics devices are being delivered to customers who pre-registered their interest in TouchPay. The service "will be made available to all RBS and NatWest customers who have Apple iPhones in the near future," say the banks.
"Interest in participating in the trial program has already been incredibly high, with more than 9,000 RBS customers registering to participate over a period of three days," they add.
"TouchPay has proven incredibly popular and shows that our customers want more flexible and convenient ways to pay," says Ben Green, head of mobile at RBS. "Delivered alongside our updated mobile apps, the TouchPay service means that our customers need only carry their smartphone with them to make payments and manage their finances wherever they are."
"A key industry challenge in bringing mobile contactless payments to consumers is finding ways to enable existing smartphones that do not offer NFC technology," says Sandra Alzetta from Visa Europe, which is working with the banks on the project. "Services like TouchPay show how NFC-enabled accessories for smartphones can deliver the future of payments today and help hasten mainstream adoption."