Canadian carrier Rogers has spun off its Suretap NFC mobile wallet service as a separate company, with the brand now operating independently and open to other carriers. Mobile network operators Bell, Telus, Koodo and Virgin have begun offering the service to their customers on Android and BlackBerry devices from today.
Rogers launched Suretap in partnership with CIBC in November 2012 and went on to launch a second and separate Suretap mobile wallet service in 2013. The services will now form part of the new Suretap offering, Rogers told NFC World, and will be offered to customers of all participating carriers.
The new Suretap launches with support for some 38 credit cards and 30 gift cards in partnership with Canadian bank CIBC and Rogers Bank. Users can make payments by tapping their phone at any contactless POS terminal as well as view their transaction history, track spending and redeem gift cards at the point of sale via QR codes.
“Physical and online retailers such as SIR Corp (who carry Jack Astor’s, Scaddabush, Far Niente and more), Cara Operations (who carry Swiss Chalet, Milestone’s and more), Indigo, Cineplex, Forever 21, Groupon and others have also signed up to participate in the multi-partner program and are available in the Suretap wallet,” the company says.
“In the future, the Suretap wallet will also store other items you currently have in your physical wallet like loyalty cards, coupons and ID cards, as well as receive personally relevant offers and have the ability for customers to search for customized deals.”
“We have moved the Suretap business out of Rogers and into the new organisation,” the carrier told NFC World. “However, Rogers will continue to offer the Suretap wallet to our customers and we will also keep a team here that is focused on new innovations that we will focus on bringing to our own customers.”
“What happened last year is that Suretap has been spun out as its own independent company,” Jeppe Dorff, president of Suretap — previously vice president of transaction services at Rogers — explained to NFC World. “Having a single consistent user experience across all wireless operators is important to get the adoption and awareness that everybody is hoping to get.
“So, what you’ve seen from Rogers was the first introduction of Suretap. This is the expansion launch of Suretap to cover the other carriers in Canada. Any other operators that are interested will participate; I’m sure we’ll see more coming over the next couple of quarters. It will be a single Suretap application, branded Suretap, and downloaded from all those network operators.
“In some cases it will come preloaded on the devices; most of the carriers and the wireless operators are going to be pre-loading the app over the next couple of quarters or so. Ultimately, it will be available as a preloaded application.”
“Suretap leverages the existing infrastructure that’s been invested in by issuers, banks as well as telecommunications companies in Canada,” Dorff continued. “We’re leveraging the SIM-based secure element. Consumers interested in this will have the right SIM card with the secure element on it and will have the capable NFC device, and it’s just a matter of adding the credit card and start tapping away.
“Additionally, we’ve added a significant amount of retailers and we also do gift cards. The retailers are going the next step; they’re saying let’s get engaged with the digital experience ourselves so we’re issuing gift cards from around 30 different brands in Canada, some of the most prominent brands in Canada.”
“We certainly have a lot of anticipation for it,” Dorff added. “The ecosystem for Canada is very right. You have a high degree of contactless penetration in Canada with retailers, you have a very digitized retail population doing digital gift cards and other digital services already, as well as a large portfolio of cards within the Suretap wallet.
“When you pair that, the fundamentals of payment, with the fact that this app will be preloaded, SIMs are in market and devices are in market that are NFC-capable, the hopes are certainly high.”