Gemalto’s Contactless Challenge: I’m competing to win!

Gemalto is a world leader in digital security. Last year they did €2+ billion in revenue with well over 10,000 employees across 43 countries.

They’re perhaps best known in the mobile world as the people who make SIM cards — but that is most definitely not where it stops. Did you know, for instance, that they’re also providers of ePassports and bank cards? Indeed, the chances are you’re carrying at least three products produced wholly or in-part by Gemalto. Namely: Your SIM card, your credit cards and your ePassport. And if you’re carrying a secure token for access to your company network, the chances are Gemalto was involved in that too.

If you’ve got a Visa payWave credit card, take it out of your wallet and look on the back, top right (or left). You’ll see the Gemalto name there too.

As you might expect, the company is big into NFC and contactless payments.

And to highlight that — they’ve asked if I’d participate in their upcoming Contactless Challenge. I’m pitted against blogger Jon Choo. Although Jon is a lovely chap, I’m afraid he’s going to be sorely disappointed as I’m aiming to win, big time.

Here’s what Gemalto have to say:

Ewan and Jon will soon be set loose in London to compete in a series of challenges to see how easily contactless payments can be used in the post-Olympics city.

In what we expect to be a hard-fought battle, Jon and Ewan will be free to race Parkour-style across the city, should they wish to try, as they attempt to visit a range of tourist attractions, shopping destinations and transport hubs, using contactless payments to complete each challenge. Bond may have had an underwater car and wrist dart gun, but we’re providing Jon and Ewan with a Samsung Galaxy SIII each to help them complete their objectives.

I have been using my Barclaycard Contactless Visa payWave for as many transactions as possible over the past few weeks doing some research for the challenge. Whilst this is good fun, it’ll be absolutely brilliant to simply wave my phone in Pret a Manger to pay for my sandwich!

The phones are due to be delivered shortly, and when they do, that’ll be the cue to begin the competition.

Each task will earn different amounts of points and the marketing team at Gemalto will keep score. I’ll have more news on this shortly and if you’re in London, make sure you’re following me on Twitter as I’m going to need your suggestions.

You can read more about the Contactless Challenge on Gemalto’s blog post.

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