Ottawa Adds Mobile Phone Payments to Code of Conduct

This Monday, Finance Minister Joe Oliver added mobile phone payments to the voluntary code of conduct governing credit and debit card payments in Canada, among other updates.

The original code was struck in 2010 and did not consider the present growth in near field communication (NFC)-enabled smartphone in-store payments.

The updates that Oliver announced include measures that ensure consumers have unrestricted control of the default settings on their mobile wallets and devices and protections for merchants who choose to stop accepting mobile payments.

According to a release on the finance ministry website, participants in the debit and credit card market will have 30 days to review and adopt the enhanced code of conduct into their practices.

The adjustments come with changing times. When looking at payment habits, only a small minority of shoppers presently make purchases with a cell phone. However, according to a recent survey of 7,000 shoppers provided by the Retail Council of Canada (RCC), up to 46 per cent of Millennials with mobile phones presently feel comfortable using their smartphone to make payments.

In addition, a report done by global professional services firm, Deloitte, released in January sees 2015 as a “tipping point”. The report, based on research conducted with more than 8,000 clients, industry analysts and global leaders from June to December of 2014 estimated that this year about five per cent of the world’s 600 million equipped smartphones will be used to make an in-store purchase at least once a month.

By the end of 2015, the report expects one in twenty smartphone owners to have made a payment with their smartphone.

According to Duncan Stewart, a director at Deloitte Canada,

“The real benefit to the retailer (with cellphone payments) is speed,” he said. “They don’t need to handle cash, or customers typing in a PIN. It moves people through the stores faster.”

 

 

 

 

 

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