HSBC launches MasterCard cellular near-field trial

HSBC has quietly launched an employee trial of MasterCard's cellular near-field technology - in the US.

The six month trial, which started just before Christmas, involves more than 200 employees in New York, Chicago and a few other cities, who will be able able to tap their Nokia mobile phones for purchases of under $25.00 at the 35,000 plus merchants accepting MasterCard PayPass across the US.

PayPass, you'll recall, is the low-value MasterCard program whereby users of MasterCard credit and debit cards can use suitably-enhanced cards for low-value transactions without needing a PIN or signature.

PayPass - which operates like the TfL Oystercard in London - now has around 1.5 million cardholders in the US. The HSBC trial, however, is one of the first to involve the use of mobile phones, rather than placcy cards...