Rogers and CIBC launch mobile wallet

Rogers Communications Inc. and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) held a joint news conference today to announce the launch of a mobile wallet that will put credit card information on smartphones.

The deal will see Rogers pay CIBC a flat fee for each credential added to the SIM card of its mobile phones. A SIM card is the small chip in GSM and HSPA band smartphones that hold subscriber information such as phone number. But a smartphone with a near-field communications (NFC) chip will be needed to actually complete a transaction with the mobile wallet.

NFC chips are secure because they are physically separated from the smartphone’s other circuitry to prevent potential access by hackers. It is also compatible with readers that are already found in many retail locations that use “tap to pay” style features on modern credit cards.

Mobile payments has become a hot area of focus in the past year. Google is planning to bring Google Wallet to Canada soon, and has seen its device go live in the U.S. market through Sprint Nextel Corp.’s U.S. network with the Samsung Nexus S phone.

Other mobile payment options have been popping up in Canada. In January, AJB Software Design Inc. began supporting PayPal payments at bricks-and-mortar locations. Visa said last year it planned to release a mobile wallet making use of NFC technology last year.

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