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Bank of America spurns NFC for QR codes with new mobile payments pilot

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Bank of America is teaming with Paydiant for a new mobile payments pilot program that forgoes Near Field Communications technology in favor of QR code-based transactions.

The trial, launched across five merchant locations near Bank of America's Charlotte, N.C. corporate headquarters, enables smartphone-equipped shoppers to complete purchases by scanning a QR code displayed at the point of sale--Paydiant co-founder Chris Gardner tells Reuters that one restaurant participating in the trial is using codes printed on receipts, enabling diners to pay at their table and leave at their discretion. The Paydiant application completes the purchase by debiting Bank of America account information stored in the cloud.

Bank of America kicked off the trial last week and said it will run for three months. For now, the pilot is limited to Bank of America employees and is optimized for smartphones running Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS and Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android.

Bank of America rolled out an NFC-based mobile payments trial in New York City in mid-2010. Bank of America spokesperson Tara Burke declined to comment on whether the company is still considering using NFC, she but said it continues to monitor the segment. Apple recently launched its iPhone 5 without NFC support, prompting many onlookers to question whether the contactless technology will ever gain significant traction as a mobile payments option.

Paydiant offers cloud-based, white-label mobile payment solutions to banks, retailers and processors. All payment card numbers and cardholder data is stored in its PCI-compliant, SAS70-certified data center. Paydiant has raised $19.6 million in venture funding.

For more:
- read this Reuters article

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