Berne, 01 July 2014
Although smartphones are widely used in Switzerland, use of mobile phones to make payments or access buildings is still in its infancy. Until now, there has been a lack of compatible mobile phones, participating financial institutions and mobile providers. However, in recent months, there has been a sharp increase in number of compatible smartphones and shop terminals. The time is therefore ripe for a new ecosystem: Tapit. The app relies on partnerships between mobile providers and established companies from the areas of finance and business. Tapit, developed by Swisscom, is an independent platform for the three mobile providers and, in cooperation with the financial sector, will be improved on an ongoing basis. The Tapit smartphone app is similar to a wallet in which you can keep various credit, prepaid and debit cards, loyalty cards and access cards. Tapit therefore represents the Swiss wallet of the future.
Tapit was developed to bring payments via smartphone into the mainstream. Furthermore, Tapit allows users to use their smartphone to access buildings, replacing traditional badges. In the near future, customers will also be able to use Tapit to manage their loyalty cards, making it easier to collect loyalty points. Once the user's cards have been registered on Tapit, the smartphone can then be used to make payments or access buildings in a quick and convenient manner. For example, thanks to the contactless feature, users can make payments by holding their mobile phones up to 4 cm away from the terminal; the transaction is then completed within two seconds. The customer only needs to enter a PIN or password to confirm the purchase if the amount exceeds CHF 40. Billing takes place via the bank's monthly credit card or prepaid card statement. An encrypted connection is guaranteed, and the customer's SIM card is used to authenticate the user details securely. Using a smartphone is therefore not only more convenient than cash, but also offers at least the same level of security as credit or prepaid cards.
Tapit is based on strong partners from the areas of finance and business, and the ecosystem is growing continuously. Tapit's payment function currently supports Visa payment cards issued by Cornèrcard. Additional card issuers are set to follow, including MasterCard cards from the Aduno Group/Viseca. UBS is currently in an intensive testing and pilot phase with its MasterCard and Visa products. Acceptance in shops and businesses will be high right from the start: customers will be able to use Tapit in all businesses that currently accept contactless payments. In Switzerland, there are already over 50,000 such shops, including those of Coop and Migros, and the number is growing rapidly. Tapit can also be used as an employee ID badge for entering buildings anywhere this function is supported. To do this, Tapit works in cooperation with LEGIC Identsystems AG and its partner network as well as Siemens. Tapit's employee ID function has already been successfully tested in our own buildings. Coop has announced that it will give its customers the opportunity to collect Supercard points via Tapit from mid-2015.
Swisscom customers will be the first to benefit from Tapit; the service will be available to Orange and Sunrise customers at a later point this year. To use Tapit, users are required to have a MasterCard- or Visa-certified, NFC-compatible smartphone with an Android operating system (e.g. Samsung Galaxy S3, S4 or S5), an NFC SIM card and a private customer subscription with a mobile provider. Tapit for the iPhone is still in development.