Emerging electronic payment technologies coming to a store near you


Plenty of Canadian consumers are carrying fat wallets these days that are stuffed with debit cards, credit cards and loyalty cards.

But all those little plastic cards may be soon be a thing of the past as banks, smartphone manufacturers and telecommunications companies are working on mobile applications that will allow consumers to create digital wallets by loading debit, credit and other types of cards on to their smartphones.

Shoppers will be able to pay for their purchases merely by calling up the right card and placing the phone close to a near field communications terminal at the point of sales.

CIBC, Rogers Communications and BlackBerry recently announced that they will launch such a mobile payments system on a trial basis later this year and Aran Hamilton, president of Toronto-based Venture Grower Inc., a consulting company that works with retailers on emerging electronic payment technologies, says other Canadian banks are working on the concept as well.

“We expect that by 2015 most handsets will have the capabilities to do this,” says Hamilton, meaning grocers still have a considerable window to prepare themselves.

As well, he sees advantage for both consumers and grocers. Consumers will be carrying a lot less plastic and paying for their purchases will be even quicker and easier. For their part, grocers may be able to use the new payments system as a channel for delivering their weekly coupons and telling shoppers what’s on sale.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds