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Secure Transactions News

Oyster and Barclaycard get together in an NFC trial

Thursday 6 December 2007

Under this trial, a NFC handset will incorporate a Barclaycard and an Oyster card used allowing users to touch their phone to the card reader to pay for public transport.

The trial, which will involve over 500 people invited from the O2 customer base and regular users of Oyster cards, takes place across selected sites throughout London and began on 28th November 2007 running for six months until the end of May 2008. Then, partners in the trial expect the application could come into commercial usage by the end of 2008 at the earliest.

Users will be equipped with a Nokia 6131 NFC handset, installed with O2 wallet. Just like a normal wallet, this will hold various everyday cards, including Oyster and Barclaycard, but in virtual form and with NFC functionality. Oyster is based on Mifare technology, and is currently supported by Transport for London, operating the London Tube, and city buses, and in some suburban trains.

All participants in the trial have Oyster on their phone enabling them to use their handset to pay for transport, with a preload of GBP 50 (EUR 70.20). They will also be able to top up their Oyster by touching their handset on Oyster ticket machines in tube stations or at Oyster ticket stops. Trialists are also credited with GBP 60 (EUR 84.20) of credit to their O2 monthly bill. Participants will also be able to touch the NFC-enabled handset on selected smart posters at the launch and at other locations over the course of the trial. This will be conducted in connection with the ongoing Blackfriars trial (cf. SI 07-37).

A subset of 225 trialists will be equipped with a Barclaycard as part of their NFC handset. They will be able to purchase goods for GBP 10  (EUR 14.00) or under at a wide selection of retailers in and around London. In the initial phase of the trial, Barclaycard will credit each phone with GBP 200 (EUR 280) worth of non-reloadable funds which trialists can use and spend as they see fit at any participating retail.

Anticipated evolutions during the trial include PIN capability, over GBP 10 purchases and reloadable / credit funds capability.

Partners in the project include

  • Transport for London, manages transport services across London,
  • TranSys, the consortium managing London's ticketing and revenue collection system, including Oyster,
  • Barclaycard, the issuer of credit and debit cards,
  • Visa Europe, payment organization, supplied Visa Mobile application,
  • Nokia, supplier of the handsets,
  • Venyon, manages the OTA (over the air) services including the OTA download and personalization of the Barclaycard pre-paid payment application,
  • Giesecke & Devrient (G&D) handles the secure data management for the Barclaycard application based on G&D's Java card operating system,
  • AEG, operator of sport and entertainment facilities, will operate The O2 - the VIP bar for O2 customers and guests,
  • NEC and Fortress worked with O2 and AEG on the VIP club application,
  • Innovision supplied the smart tags for the posters,
  • Parrot supplied digital photo frames for touch and uploading of photos from the NFC phones,
  • Consult Hyperion provided consulting and development services to O2.