Citi brings Tap & Pay tech to India

Citigroup, on Tuesday, announced the launch of ‘Citi Tap & Pay’ in Bangalore, thus bringing to India next-generation contactless credit card payments based on the revolutionary Near Field Communication (NFC) technology.

Briefing reporters, Citi Innovation EVP & Head of Growth Ventures Jeff Semenchuk said “the launch of Citi Tap & Pay pilot service will be one of world’s largest and most comprehensive pilots ever undertaken.” To accelerate the adoption of this emerging technology, Citi has established a fully secure, scalable and interoperable mobile payments ecosystem in Bangalore in collaboration with Nokia, Vodafone, MasterCard and ViVOtech.

How it works

The ‘Citi Tap & Pay’ platform will allow customers the convenience of using their mobile phone as a credit card. The NFC technology will allow customers to tap their mobile phone on a contactless reader at the point of sale to pay for purchases, eliminating the need for the traditional swiping of credit cards.

Since contactless transactions will be possible, at the moment, only with NFC-enabled Nokia N6212 3G handset, users will have to buy this phone. One can purchase this handset at designated Nokia stores, pre-loaded with Citi Tap & Pay application, enabled with MasterCard’s PayPass contactless payments technology for a concessional price of Rs 5,000.

Users will then be able to securely execute an Over-The-Air (OTA) download of their Citibank MasterCard credit card onto their mobile phone. Once personalised, their credit card on the phone will be ready.

Citi India Global Consumer Group Country Business Manager N Rajashekaran said “through this service to we are enabling the convergence of wallet with mobile phone.” As the transactions require a PIN validation they are secure. Once a transaction is through the amount will be automatically charged to a customer’s Citibank MasterCard card account through a secure payment network. The system brings together four different players and technologies, apart from Citibank. Nokia is providing NFC-enabled 3G handset, Vodafone is the mobile network operator for pilot service, MasterCard will offer its PayPass contactless payment and security infrastructure and ViVOtech is providing the underlying technology, including NFC wallet, the OTA card provisioning software, in addition to contactless readers that participating merchants will use to accept payments.

Citi hopes to gather user insights and also track the response to NFC-enabled interactive posters and mobile coupon redemptions.

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