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New NFC joint venture could make bank cards obsolete

New NFC joint venture could make bank cards obsolete

(11 January 2013 – New Zealand) Next month bank-owned eftpos company Paymark is hoping to set up a joint venture with New Zealand telcos Vodafone, Telecom and 2degrees that could make bank cards and plastic identity cards obsolete. The companies first announced plans to form a mobile payments joint venture in April last year, with Vodafone and Telecom running technology trials using mobile phones equipped with Near Field Communication (NFC) technology since.

Vodafone wholesale manager Steve Rieger said discussions between the four companies were 'progressing positively" and an announcement about the joint venture was hoped for February.

The new company would promote a new generation of phones containing contactless chips that would let people pay for items by tapping them against eftpos terminals.

Paymark chief executive Simon Tong said last year that driver licences, library cards, travel cards, loyalty cards and other identity cards could go the same way as bank cards, replaced by an application on a chip in a mobile phone.

One advantage of mobile phones over conventional bank cards is they can be remotely disabled if stolen to prevent fraud. Another is that receipts can be sent electronically to the phone rather than having to be printed.

However, Tong has acknowledged plastic cards are unlikely to die out quickly and many people might prefer them because they are not breakable.
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