Bank of America tests technology to pay with iPhones

“Bank of America Corp is testing a technology that allows a customer to pay at a store register by simply scanning an image with a smartphone, such as Apple Inc’s iPhone,” Rick Rothacker reports for Reuters.

“The pilot program is being tested in Charlotte, North Carolina, where the second-largest U.S. bank is headquartered, and marks the latest effort by a financial institution to come out on top in the race to determine how people will pay for things in the future,” Rothacker reports. “At stake is a gargantuan market for global mobile payments, which the consulting firm Gartner expects to exceed $171 billion this year.”

Rothacker reports, “Bank of America launched its pilot last week at five merchants in Charlotte. The test will last three months and only the bank’s employees have access to the program. They can use newer iPhones and phones that use the Android operating system. Burke declined to comment on whether the bank is still considering using NFC technology but said it continues to test and monitor the marketplace. That technology suffered a setback this month when Apple did not embed NFC chips in its iPhone 5.”

“In the latest test, customers store their payment cards on a computer server and when they pay, they use an application on their phone that scans a Quick Response code displayed at the register,” Rothacker reports. “The technology currently works with QR codes but could be adapted to other methods that connect a user’s phone to a retailer… In the Bank of America trial, Gardner said, one restaurant is using codes printed on receipts, allowing customers to pay at their table and leave.”

Read more in the full article here.


    1. Apple noted the security issues inherent in NFC and the requirement for vendors to add NFC equipments to their checkouts. So it chose a path that utilizes the camera function on the iPhone to work with existing vendor capabilities – barcodes, QR codes, etc. It will be easier and less expensive for the vendor, maintains better security, and avoids the requirement to add yet another RF function to the iPhone.

  1. Let’s say there are 50 tables in a restaurant. Tables 1, 15, 17 & 23 have paid by swiping their phone’s QR code but tables 21, 25 & 37 have not paid but are trying to sneak out of the restaurant without paying. Will there be a doorman to check receipts against payments?

    1. Could the restaurant get notified when payments are made? It would then be up to them to keep track of who hasn’t paid. The same sneaking out could be done right now with cash payments. It’s up to the waiter/waitress to make sure there’s some money on the table when someone leaves.

  2. If you have an iPad based system, it could be easy. When you walk out, you scan your bill under a scanner. If it says Thank You, you walk out the door. If it says, Please pay at the register, you pay.

    Just a thought.

        1. They are not necessarily stupid, gotwake. Holes exist in the current payment systems, including cash and credit cards. For instance, restaurants are prime places for having your credit card information stolen. Waiters take possession of your credit card and can scan it to make a clone while processing your bill. They end up with the security code and everything. Where possible, Apple needs to improve on existing payment methods.

  3. After watching the BOA version of One by U2, I can safely say I will never use their services.

    I’m not posting a link, if you want to waste 5 minutes of your life, search for it on YouTube.

  4. Why anyone would bank with this corrupt organization is truly astonishing.

    @ BOA : I don’t care what you’re selling now, you suck. You should be dead by your own screw-ups, and you should be put exterminated given all the games you play with your customers. Buying Countrywide only confirmed how evil you are.

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