This summer, ABN AMRO, ING and Rabobank are launching an initiative to enable shoppers to pay at the checkout using their mobile phone. The three banks will start the ball rolling on 29 August with a local introduction in Leiden involving a large group of consumers, retailers, bars and cafes. At the same time, ABN AMRO will issue clients and staff in Leiden with debit cards that can be used to make contactless payments.
Cooperation between banks
The three banks have worked together with telecommunications operator KPN and credit card company MasterCard for the introduction of mobile payments. The launch will begin with around 1,000 consumers who have a bank account at one of the three banks and a mobile subscription with KPN. They will be able to pay using their mobile phones in more than 100 shops, bars and cafes in the centre of Leiden. Payment is made by holding a mobile phone equipped for mobile payments close to the payment terminal. Small amounts are debited directly from the customer’s bank account without the need to enter a PIN; amounts above 25 euros will still require a PIN. Leiden city council is supporting the initiative. The introduction in Leiden is expected to be completed by the end of 2013, after which the banks will roll out their mobile payment systems across the Netherlands.
ABN AMRO debit card can be used for contactless payments
At the same time as the mobile payments launch, ABN AMRO is launching a new debit card for 60,000 clients which they can use to make contactless payments in a similar way to making mobile payments. The payment terminals at the participating retailers in Leiden have been specially adapted to take these cards. Starting in the autumn, all new debit cards issued by ABN AMRO will have this functionality. Locations where contactless payments can be made can be recognised from the following logo:
The big benefits for both consumers and retailers are convenience and speed. For consumers, contactless payment for small amounts is often quicker than paying in cash or entering a PIN as at present. And people usually carry their mobile phone with them, so mobile payment is an easy step. Retailers will also benefit from faster payments because they will be able to help more customers in less time. In addition, the use of cash will decline further, increasing safety and efficiency for retailers and consumers alike.
Mobile payment and contactless card payment are just as safe as paying with a debit card and PIN as at present. In many of our neighbouring countries, contactless payment is already commonplace (there are 50 million contactless payment cards in circulation worldwide). There is virtually no fraud involving these cards, because the relatively small amounts involved mean it is hardly worthwhile.
If a stolen debit card or mobile phone is used to make small payments without using a PIN, ABN AMRO will compensate clients for the amounts concerned in accordance with the Payment Services Terms & Conditions. The deductible payable by the client in these Terms & Conditions does not apply for these payments. A limit has also been set for the maximum total amount of transactions that can be made without entering a PIN: successive payments for small amounts (less than €25 per payment) can be made up to a maximum total of €50, after which the customer will be asked to enter their PIN again. They may also be asked to enter their PIN occasionally when making smaller payments in order to check that the card is still in the rightful owner’s possession. With mobile payments, the consumer has the option of setting up their phone to require entry of a PIN for every transaction, including those below €25. And with debit cards, the customer can opt to use their PIN as normal by placing it in the payment terminal rather than holding it against it.
Money cannot be debited accidentally when customers walk past a payment terminal. Payments can only be made if the debit card or mobile phone is held a few centimetres from the terminal. Moreover, the terminal must first initiate the payment.