Citigroup, MasterCard Worldwide, Cingular Wireless and Nokia today announced a consumer technology trial of Near Field Communication (NFC)-enabled mobile phones with MasterCard PayPass(TM) contactless payment capability in New York City. The goal of this trial is to evaluate the speed and convenience that "tap and go" payments made through mobile phones can provide to Citi credit cards and Cingular customers in the New York City area. The trial is expected to run three to six months.
Pre-selected Citi MasterCard cardholders with Cingular Wireless accounts are participating in the trial and will receive Nokia NFC-enabled mobile phones with MasterCard PayPass payment functionality. MasterCard PayPass is a "contactless" payment program that provides consumers with a fast and convenient way to pay.
With their NFC-enabled phone, trial participants can pay for purchases at any merchant that accepts MasterCard PayPass by simply holding their phone near a secure PayPass payment terminal. If they choose, participants will be permitted to enable the PayPass functionality only at the point of sale and to disable it at all other times. The contactless payment transaction is automatically charged to the user through the same secure MasterCard payment network that processes traditional credit card transactions.