South African banking group Absa has expanded its NFC mobile payments trial to eliminate the need for microSD booster stickers and is now offering Samsung Galaxy S4 handsets to participants.
The trial started in December 2011 with 500 Absa staff using Blackberry handsets and NFC-enabled microSD cards that required the use of external signal booster stickers.
"The booster sticker that needed self-insertion was often difficult and problematic for consumers," Absa head of digital banking and payments Adrian Vermooten told NFC World.
"For this reason, and based on Absa's strategy to make customers' lives easier, we are proud to announce that these trials on handsets are underway for a microSD card fitted with NFC capabilities that requires no booster sticker to be inserted."
Vermooten explained that, in this new stage of the pilot, the bank will use DeviceFidelity's CredenSE microSD solution. With its onboard radio, the CredenSE microSD card can add NFC capability and a secure element to phones without NFC, or it can simply host a secure element for handsets which have NFC built in.
"It is compatible with multiple devices and operating systems," he explained. "It also significantly increases the success rate of self-installations by customers creating a more efficient and hassle-free user experience."
"We are encouraged by the steady progress of our trials with contactless payments," he concluded.