Softcard is bringing NFC payment support to the Windows Phone mobile platform.
The company, a mobile payments joint venture between AT&T, T-Mobile USA and Verizon, aims to bridge the gap between merchants, banks, tech firms and brands. Users who wish to pay for products using Softcard's near-field communication (NFC) technology currently must be customers of these carriers, and if their device is compatible, can use an accompanying app to set up NFC payment through their smartphone.
Currently, Softcard users can pay at hundreds of thousands of stores across the United States, and are able to earn loyalty points and use special offers at partnered merchant locations.
Speaking at the Money20/20 conference in Las Vegas on Wednesday, Softcard CEO Michael Abbott announced the NFC app has come to Windows Phone, making Softcard the only provider of a "NFC-based mobile wallet supported on multiple mobile operating systems." By the end of the year, Abbott hopes Softcard will be supported on over 100 mobile devices.
"We believe in customer choice — it's one of our core principles and an important factor in driving widespread consumer adoption," Abbott commented.
Softcard also revealed the results of a pilot study which has taken place in Salt Lake City over the past two years. Following the launch of NFC payments in the region, the company found that contactless payment rates are 2.5 times higher than the national average, taps per active user are 50 percent higher than average, and Salt Lake City users are 3.5 times more likely to engage with offers and four times more likely to use loyalty cards than others outside the city.
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