Feeds

El Reg pays by phone – mmmm, free cookies!

Slow tap dance for UK's first contactless payments

The Power of One Infographic

Not waving but buying

The transaction itself was instant, the screen shown popping up next time we went into the Quick Tap application. Sadly the transaction didn't appear anywhere else – "recent transactions" still shows nothing and our remaining balance shows no money has been spent, despite the fact that we've eaten the cookies.

Screen shot showing receipt

Next time will be much quicker, for us and the staff.

Paying for things works really smoothly, but the supporting services – both registration and management – clearly need a lot of work. The Tocco isn't responsive enough to show off the applications, which themselves suffer from the J2ME platform on which they run. NFC payments are more likely to appeal to the kind of early adopters wielding Android and iOS handsets, but with only two Android handsets supporting NFC (the Nexus S and Galaxy S II) it is not mainstream enough for Orange to support – yet.

Concerns about security will also dog deployment, and despite the enormously complicated registration process, the credit card is still only protected by a four-digit PIN.

A thief can use your charged-up credit without being challenged – each transaction can be up to £15 and there isn't a limit on the number of transactions. Once that balance is exhausted the thief will get three guesses at the PIN, and will be able to transfer money from the credit card if the PIN is guessed.

Barclaycard will provide a tenner of additional credit for those prepared to adopt early, but it is notable that the Quick Tap application has plenty of space for other payment systems to be added (with one being identified as the "default" payment system so one can tap and pay without selecting a card).

It will be a few months before anyone else commits to using the system, and we're not convinced the infrastructure is quite ready yet despite the point-of-sale process working so well. Proximity payments from phones will happen, and Quick Tap is the first in the UK, but like most first movers it's more than a little rough around the edges. ®

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.