German payments technology provider Wirecard has launched a host card emulation (HCE) based mobile payments service in Germany, the Netherlands, Austria and Belgium that will allow customers of any mobile network operator to make payments using their Android device at contactless terminals.
“Boon makes mobile payments possible at every NFC-capable POS which accepts MasterCard contactless,” the company says. “Any user of an NFC-capable smartphone with the Android 4.4 operating system or above will now be able to use Boon. Users simply install the Android app on their smartphone, then register with Boon and that’s it — they can make contactless payments within just a few seconds.
“Boon is based upon a prepaid MasterCard which is issued by Wirecard. This can currently be topped up by a bank transfer or credit card. In 2016, Boon will combine not only innovative and secure payment functions but also loyalty solutions and a wide range of personal finance services like micro credits, P2P payments and many more.”
“To promote this service we have developed a holistic communication and marketing approach,” Georg von Waldenfels, EVP of consumer solutions at Wirecard, told NFC World. “We are in close conversations with partners such as retailers, banks and mobile network operators.
“Boon is our own business-to-consumer payment brand, so customers can download the app independently from the app store. Furthermore, we are planning to collaborate with distribution and cooperation partners.”
“With Boon we offer a state-of-the-art user experience and an easy and secure sign-in process. We are thinking about adding further innovative services, for example micro-credits and insurance offers or loyalty such as cashbacks. There are other interesting features that we will address.
“I think the drivers in the mobile payments field in the past few years have been the mobile network operators,” Waldenfels added. “The majority of the MNOs have invested a huge amount of money into their own wallet systems but the SIM secure element strategy, from my point of view, is very expensive.
“We strongly believe that HCE erases several hurdles, especially when it comes to the registration process. I think HCE is a really big opportunity — HCE opens up a complete new world.”