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December 14, 2006

Citigroup to pilot ‘tap and go’ phone payments in New York

Citigroup, MasterCard Worldwide, Cingular Wireless and Nokia have collaborated to launch a pilot scheme in New York City to evaluate the speed and convenience that 'tap and go' payments made through mobile phones can provide to Citi credit cardholders and Cingular customers.

By CBR Staff Writer

Pre-selected Citi MasterCard cardholders with Cingular Wireless accounts are participating in the trial and will receive Nokia near field communication (NFC)-enabled mobile phones with MasterCard PayPass payment functionality.

Through the NFC-enabled mobile phone, trial participants will have the ability to pay for purchases wherever MasterCard PayPass is accepted by simply holding their phone near a secure PayPass payment terminal. Participants will also have the option to disable the PayPass functionality when not at a point of sale. The contactless payment transaction will be automatically charged to the user through the same MasterCard payment network that processes traditional credit card transactions.

MasterCard has long believed that the mobile phone represents a ubiquitous payment device, in large part because consumers continue to grow more comfortable using them for a range of activities beyond making and receiving calls, said Art Kranzley, executive vice president and group executive of advanced payments at MasterCard Worldwide. We also believe New York City makes an ideal backdrop for a technology built on speed and convenience. We are excited to team up with industry leaders such as Citi, Cingular and Nokia to test the promise of NFC in one of the world’s fastest-paced environments.

The trial is expected to last between three to six months.

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