US Bank is commencing trials of its Go Mobile
payments service for mobile phones. Available in Salt Lake City, Utah and Portland, Oregon, the bank will allow iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s owners to perform NFC payments, by encasing their phone with a specially created case with Near Field Communications chips embedded.
Thousands of retailers in the area that use Visa payWave equipment will be able to take the mobile payments through Go Mobile, and will initially be available to US Bank customers using its FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa Signature account, before a broader rollout later in 2013. The case itself not only contains an NFC chip, but also an extra battery that provides a claimed 50-percent increase in device battery life.
Though the bank is testing NFC through the case, it is not clear if other NFC-enabled smartphone owners will be able to use their phones directly with the service, such as how Google Wallet