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Cloud based NFC payments being tested by McDonalds

Austrian mobile network operator A1 and Paybox Bank have enlisted McDonalds to launch a new, test NFC mobile payment system from now until mid-2012. Five hundred end-users have been selected to assess this new system dubbed Paybox NFC.

The system aims to deliver mobile payments utilizing NFC contactless technology, but unlike other recent digital wallet and mobile payment solutions all transactions will be handled in “the cloud” over the standard EMV point-of-sale terminals. The goal is to allow users to pay for transactions below the €25 mark without having to enter a PIN number.

A1 currently hosts numerous models of NFC phones including the Sony Xperia S, Blackberry Curve 9360, HTC One X and Blackberry Bold 9900. For those interested in usage outside of mobile devices, contactless stickers will also be tested as an alternative.
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As far as functionality goes, the process is quite similar to most digital wallets and contactless payment systems currently on the market, however Paybox NFC does not use Visa’s PayWave or Mastercard’s Paypass solutions. Paybox and A1 offer the service in tandem, and all transactions are handled directly through a designated bank. Users simply sign-up for a Paybox account then direct it to their bank of choice and then download the Paybox app, which is coupled with their current A1 mobile service. No important payment information is stored on neither the NFC enabled chip on the mobile device or on the supplemental NFC stickers.

“Cash is still the most popular means of payment, especially for amounts of up to €25. Searching for small change or waiting to be given money back is time consuming. With Paybox NFC, we can offer our customers a state-of-the-art alternative,” noted Bernd Hartweger, CEO of Paybox Bank.