US Bank has announced it is kicking off a limited trial of its Go Mobile payment service via an NFC-enabled iPhone case. The Go Mobile wireless payment service is initially being rolled out in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Portland, Ore. US Bank customers in either city can visit a bank branch for information on how to obtain a case.
It's not immediately apparent if the cases will be free to customers or if there's a charge. On their website US Bank says the requirements are "an iPhone 4 or 4S and [the ability] to qualify for a US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa Signature card to use the US Bank Go Mobile Payment Service."
The NFC-enabled case can be used at retailers in either city that use Visa's payWave terminals.
Apple has chosen to hold its payment cards close to the vest while rival phones using Google's Android OS experiment with the Google Wallet NFC payment system. Although there were hints that iOS 6 would include some payment/digital wallet capabilities that might be supported by future mobile hardware, the current Passbook feature delivers quite a bit of payment and check-in power -- but saves a lot of engineering by simply displaying 1D barcodes that work with conventional laser scanners at retail, and 2D codes that work with airport/Amtrak check-in and other scanners.