There’s been a lot of rumors around iPhone’s new release, iPhone 4 that it would come with an NFC chip but unfortunately it didn’t. It’d be a huge step for the contactless space -could also be a huge step for a proprietary system fully controlled by Apple, now we will wait for iPhone 5.
But wait, if you really want to see iPhone in action for contactless payment, you are in luck. Wireless Dynamics has a great solution for that; iCarte.
Luckily, I am part of an iCarte project here in Turkey. Yapi Kredi Bank and Visa deployed this iCarte project. Wireless Dynamics is the hardware and software provider while G&D is the TSM for personalization. Inside the smartcard within the iCarte, Visa Mobile Payment Application is running. And Visa Mobile Gateway is used for life cycle scripting.
iCarte is basically an integrated smart card and antenna attached to iPhone. Both iPhone 3 and 4 are supported. On top of the hardware, of course there is the software. Wireless Dynamics has a great app that enables the payment.
First you need to personalize the smart card embedded in the iCarte. After that, you need to verify yoıurself to the smart card with your PIN (passcode in Visa’s terminology). If you are the person that Yapi Kredi has authorised (Yapi Kredi is the issuer in this case) you are good to go with your iPhone for contactless payments.
When you first start the app, hardware is checked and connection is established.
After a successful start-up, you need to activate the application. This practically means you must personalize the Visa Mobile Payment Application.
Now you are ready to go.
With the iCarte, you can also save personal details of the transaction. iCarte -like other mobile payment solutions- is more secure than other contactless payment media. You can choose to enter your PIN before processing a transaction. This is optional, you can do this once and let the application process the payment without and verification.
I think it is the most usable (and practically the only) solution for the moment for contactless payment with iPhone.