Mutliplex chain PVR Cinemas has launched an NFC-based PVR Wallet app for the recently launched BlackBerry 10 platform. The company has partnered with the IT solutions provider NEC India to launch this app and it says that NEC India will providing the back end solution for the PVR Wallet app.
The app is currently available for BlackBerry 10 users as a free download on BlackBerry World and the company mentions that users can simply tap the device and pay for movie tickets and refreshments across 15 cinema locations in cities like Delhi & NCR, Chennai, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Pune, Hyderabad, and Bangalore.
How this works
While we weren’t able to try out the app ourselves, PVR says that this service will be a closed wallet service, i.e. users can load cash in the app through their credit card and debit cards but cannot withdraw the amount from the app.
Once the users loads cash to the wallet, users can purchase tickets across any of the 15 cinema locations by tapping their phone at the cinema hall. The company informs MediaNama that it has also set up kiosks at the cinema halls with NFC stickers to enable ticket payment and besides NFC payment option, users can also choose to pay using Kotak mCoupon, gift cards and credit cards.
Strategic Tie-up Or A Pilot? It’s not currently clear if PVR has inked any strategic tie up with BlackBerry to launch this app first on BlackBerry 10, but its also quite possible that PVR is probably testing this app as a pilot on the BlackBerry 10 platform before extending to other platforms like Android, Windows Phone and Symbian. Remember that BlackBerry offers only one BlackBerry 10 device in India at present – BlackBerry Z10 which was launched last month for Rs 43,490.
Will it be feasible? That being said, there are considerably lesser number of NFC devices available across various mobile platforms in India. Hence, we are not sure how feasible will this service be for PVR, unless phone manufacturers like Nokia, Samsung, Micromax, Karbonn among others launch several low-cost NFC phones in the forthcoming future to increase the user adoption rate of NFC technology.
Other NFC Developments
In October 2012, Bangalore-based mobile payments solution provider iKaaz had launched two new mobile payment platforms for enterprises and consumers called iKaaz Consumer Wallet for Enterprise and iKaaz mPOS. For the same, the company had launched an NFC based solution for merchants called Tap & Pay where merchants can receive payments from customers with a single tap from an NFC-based device.
In August 2012, Nokia India was looking to introduce a NFC-based ticketing system for its consumers and was apparently in talks with a majority of the metro rail projects in the country for this initiative. The company had reportedly partnered with the mobile payment company Paymate for NFC solutions and had tied up with banks for this service. Nokia had previously partnered with Paymate and the makers of the Bollywood movie Ra.One to offer content including ringtones and wallpapers, through the use of NFC tags. For this initiative, PayMate had installed around 20,000 tags across Nokia outlets, shopping malls and movie theatres in the country.
State Bank of India had also announced NFC enabled debit cards for Bangalore Metro project in July 2011, which allowed commuters to pay for their journeys with a simple tap while Tata Docomo had partnered with Xius to trial Near Field Communications based mobile payments in Hyderabad in February 2011.
(With Inputs From Vikas SN)