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ING pilot project tests payments from phone to phone

Dutch bank is testing an app that enables users to make peer-to-peer payments directly from smartphone to smartphone when they are close together

Netherlands bank ING is using ultra-wideband (UWB) radio technology in a pilot to test out technology that enables people to make payments to each other directly from smartphone to smartphone.

The bank is working with technology from chip maker NXP Semiconductors on the project that aims to simplify person-to-person payments when they are near each other.

Project Near, as the pilot is known, uses Samsung Galaxy smartphones and UWB technology to make it possible to send payments directly to a smartphone, removing the need for the people involved to share their profiles.

Through the Near app, a person making a payment just has to locate the device of the person receiving the funds, who must also use the app, and send the payment.

“With this new technology, you can make a peer-to-peer payment by directing your phone towards another,” said Thijs Janssen of ING Factory, the bank’s innovation department. “Consumers no longer need to share personal details, which makes mobile payments even more swift and easy. UWB’s precision location capabilities ensure that the payment is safely transferred to the right person.”

Janssen said ING is looking into further use cases, including adding UWB technology to point of sale to enable “secure, hands-free checkout experience”.

“UWB technology is opening up a whole new world of connectivity, where our devices and appliances can all communicate seamlessly with each other in an open ecosystem,” said JM Choi, head of connectivity, R&D group at Samsung Electronics.

“By working closely with partners like NXP and ING, we are able to put this game-changing technology into the hands of even more consumers, creating innovative new experiences that make people’s everyday lives easier.”

Mobile phones are being used more and more for payments, with different options being added to make then more convenient wallets.

Digital wallet payments will be worth more than $12tn in 2026, as more payment types are added, according to Juniper Research. This will amount to a 60% rise on 2022, when $7.5tn is expected to be transacted on digital wallets, which sit on smartphones.

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