During May and June, 100 selected Eurocard customers are testing the use of a virtual Eurocard for payments via Ericsson's R520m mobile telephone with built-in Bluetooth technology. This is the first time that an internationally valid payment form has been used in such a trial.
Svenska Eurocard is seeking to test whether customers experience that payment via the mobile telephone is an easier, faster and more convenient alternative than other payment methods, such as cash or card. Four stores in the Täby Centrum shopping mall near Stockholm - MQ, Ego, Teknikmagasinet and Buketten - are involved in the test as well as the Statoil petrol station adjacent to the Täby Gallop racetrack.
"For the customer, paying for purchases using a Bluetooth-equipped mobile phone will enable them to pass through the store check-out much faster. If there is a line-up, the wait will be shortened considerably - which benefits both customers and stores. Payment by Bluetooth-equipped mobile phone can shorten the payment procedure by one-half. Customers can also be informed of any special offers the stores may have at the particular time via their mobile telephones," says Synnöve Trygg, president of Eurocard AB in Sweden.
"For the stores, payment by mobile phone with Bluetooth enables them to serve more customers in shorter time. Since purchases are confirmed using PIN codes, there is no need for the stores to check customers' ID," says Synnöve Trygg.
Bluetooth makes it possible to transmit wireless data over short distances, quickly and free of charge - in this case, between the purchaser's mobile phone, which incorporates the virtual Eurocard, and the store cash register.
"The attempt is based on an Ericsson-developed payment platform for financial transactions using Bluetooth. It is an example of how the new wireless Internet technology can be used for users' everyday tasks," says Orvar Parling, vice president in charge of sales with Ericsson Sverige AB.
Eurocard AB in Sweden's tests are unlike other wireless-payment methods that use mobile phones in that they involve Bluetooth technology. Other ongoing attempts use the regular GSM network and often involve one or several SMS services, which creates costs for the consumer and longer transaction times.