4 things you need to know about PayPass technology

Canadian consumers can't help but be confused. Near-field communication, mobile web payments, SMS-based transactions -- there's now a bevy of cashless ways to pay for your café latte.


The latest addition to the mix is BMO Bank of Montreal's Mobile PayPass Tag which lets credit card holders make purchases through a sticker affixed to their mobile phone. Users receive an instant email verification of each transaction.

The thinking behind PayPass is that consumers need no longer carry money with them to make small-dollar-value purchases. Instead, they simply tap their mobile phone over the PayPass reader at the point of sale and the transaction is instantly processed to their BMO credit card account.

If purchasing a coffee with a tap still strikes you as a bit sci-fi, we'll make it easy on you. Here are the four most important things you need to know about BMO's PayPass tag, according to David Heatherly, vice president of BMO Bank of Montreal's payment products division.

1. It's more convenient than cash.
"The BMO Mobile PayPass Tag gives consumers speed and convenience when making smaller value purchases," says Heatherly. "Consumers can just tap their mobile phone over the PayPass reader at the point of sale and the transaction is instantly processed to their BMO credit card account. They can also opt to receive convenient instant email notifications that report the amount, merchant name and, in most cases, the exact location of each PayPass purchase they make with their tag."

2. It's built to last.
"The BMO Mobile PayPass Tag has been specially manufactured to be durable enough to withstand everyday wear and tear and to remain affixed until the mobile tag expiry date which is typically three years," assures Heatherly. "Chances are consumers will change phones before the sticker stops functioning."

3. It's secure.
PayPass tag users have the same zero-liability purchase protection and anti-fraud capabilities available on all BMO MasterCard products. In addition to the zero liability protection, the phone never leaves the mobile tag user's hand when they make a purchase, and they have the added security of the email notifications. Besides, says Heatherly, "if any unauthorized purchases are made with their tag, they know it instantly through the email notification to their smartphone and/or computer."

4. There's more to come.
What's next for contactless technology? According to Heatherly, "there is no doubt that contactless payment technology is evolving quickly. Soon, it will be built right into smartphones. We refer to our PayPass tag as 'bridge technology.' It's another step along the path to a cashless society, which Canadian consumers say they welcome."

See related: Visa Canada's digital wallet vs. the world; A new way to process credit cards -- with your Blackberry
Published September 28, 2011

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