Mobile payment service Boku launches NFC phone payments with Mastercard
23 February 2012
A new near-field communications banking system launched by Boku will allow all mobile phone users to pay by NFC technology.
The system is linked to a mobile phone user’s network account, and will launch to UK consumers within the coming months. A number of operators are known to be looking closely at NFC payment solutions, which allows a phone to be used to pay for goods and services simply by touching a reader by your smartphone.
The system requires a user to preload a Boku account, which is then linked to their mobile phone account. Users with a mobile phone that is not NFC-enabled will be supplied with an NFC sticker that they can attach to their existing mobile phone, and a Mastercard will be provided for users who do not have a bank account, or for situations where NFC readers are not available.
The system will also allow users to send and receive money between mobile phones and to be sent offers by advertisers and merchants. Text messages can be set up as alerts if a balance runs low or a transaction raises suspicions.
Boku accounts are likely to be branded by operators, rather than to use the Boku label.
Mark Britto, Boku’s chief executive stated "We are leveraging the power of the device in your pocket to improve every transaction you make, anywhere in the world, and helping our mobile network operator partners expand into the off-line world."
The Payments Council has also launched a prototype service, and is one of many organisations aiming to develop a widespread payments solution using mobile phones.