Rogers, CIBC to offer digital wallet service

Wallets and smartphones moved a step closer to becoming one in the same thing today in Canada.

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and Rogers Communications Inc. arefirst out of the gate to announce a new digital wallet service theywill jointly offer to consumers in Canada, the Globe and Mail reports.

The two companies said today they are launching a service allowing CIBCbanking customers to pay for goods at participating retailers usingtheir near field communications (NFC) enabled Rogers smartphones.Nostart date was announced for the service, which is the first to beunveiled in Canada.

“The new payment capability will leverage the secure SIM card inside amobile device for payments, meaning clients can manage their creditcard credentials on a secure platform,” the two companies said in ajoint statement.

The news comes a day after Canada’s major banks agreed to adopt avoluntary set of guidelines formobile payments, including securityprocedures and standards. The development of those guidelines, combinedwith projections that NFC phones will reach wider adoption in Canada by2014, have set the stage for further partnerships between banks andwireless carriers on providing mobile payment services.

Privacy, security issues
This early in the game, privacy and security concerns have yet to befully addressed. Based on how closely Canada’s federal and provincialprivacy commissioners seem to keep an eye on those issues when it comesto mobile and online technologies, both privacy and security are sureto become hot button topics as mobile payments become more popular inCanada.

Ontario’s privacy commissioner already issued recommendations regarding NFC usagelast fall.

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