This week, my payments are going NFC thanks to the #GemaltoNFC contactless challenge

For the next 10 days or so I’m participating in Gemalto’s Contactless Challenge. It’s me, dear reader, pitted against blogger Jon Choo.

We’ve both been issued with Samsung Galaxy SIII devices pre-loaded and ready to rock with the Orange QuickTap wallet app for Android. This uses the integrated NFC features of the Galaxy along with Barclaycard knowhow to enable payments at a swipe, or a touch. Basically, everything you can do with your existing Visa PayWave compatible credit card, you can now do with your Galaxy (and a range of other compatible devices — more info from Orange here).

The challenge consists of a number of tasks with points associated with them.

I’ll have 10 days to run up as many points a flipping possible to try and win against Mr Choo.

Tim Cawsey over at Gemalto’s Telecoms Blog has written a nice summary of the challenge.

Here is an overview of the scoring system. (I do like the idea of Gemalto’s definition of “investing” in doughnuts.)

On a regular basis, Gemalto’s marketing team will be totting up the scores.

Now then, on the face of it, it all looks reasonably straight forward doesn’t it? Buy some doughnuts, pay for some drinks, buy lunch… but… and there’s a huge BUT here, we need to do it with Contactless.

That actually isn’t all that easy at the moment as we wait for the credit card terminals to be refreshed across the nation. However more and more shops are deploying them. I do, therefore, need your help. Please do follow me on Twitter as I am likely to need your advice on making sure I manage to knock off a task-a-day (or more) to keep the scores moving. I’ll need your help to figure out where the Contactless payment terminals are in London, basically. I’m discovering new locations all the time at some of the most unlikely places.

You, dear reader, are worth 15 points to me. Right near the bottom of this table there’s an option saying, “Complete a challenge issued by one of your social media followers”. That’s worth 15 smackers. I’m not looking for drinking games or run-around-the-block-naked style challenges. I think the spirit of this particular task set is that it has to involve paying for something via contactless.

The cinema, for example. Or, I dunno… buying some nice chocolates from Charbonnel et Walker. Indeed, I am likely to sincerely and significantly love you in a dramatic fashion if you happen to venture forth on Twitter that I should head over to Charbonnel’s Old Bond Street store and pick up some champagne truffles. The FLY in the FLIPPING OINTMENT, however, is that if the shop doesn’t do contactless, I’m stuffed. And not with truffles. Indeed I’ll probably have to cover the embarrassment of walking into the shop and eyeing up their card terminal (to see if I can spot the PayWave logo) by having to buy some the normal way… with a flipping PIN and 30 seconds of wincing pain waiting for the transaction to complete.

[Is it too silly to actually phone Charbonnel and ask if they do contactless payments?]

Anyway, if you’ve got a good suggestion, please do tweet me — ew4n. Or if you’ve plucked up the courage to phone them on my behalf, do let me know.

The biggie in the leaderboard is ‘go contactless for a day’ — which involves buying breakfast, lunch and dinner via contactless. This is doable of course but right now my thinking is McDonalds, Pret and then Pret (as these are places I KNOW actually all have contactless payment options already). Not ideal for my waistline. So if you’ve any ideas let me know.

The other point is that contactless is £20 or less. To pay for anything more than that, you need to type in your PIN. And I’m not at home to messing around with that. I want ease of use. I want to tap-n-be-done. I also want to look rather sophisticated by ‘swiping’ my phone instead of my credit card. I can’t wait to see the reactions.

Have a read of the table below and if you’ve any comments, reply here or stick’em on Twitter.

Standby for more updates.

Leaderboard challenge
Challenge Outlets Points
Invest’ in a box of 12 Krispy Kreme doughnuts with which to curry favour with your colleagues. Victoria Station, Waterloo Station, High Holborn, Euston (The Piazza) 10
Pick up lunch from Yo Sushi Poland St, Farringdon Rd, St Pauls 10
Get ‘a round’ in. A £20 limit doesn’t go far in a London pub, but it should still be sufficient to pick up four pints at the nearest Slug & Lettuce for yourself and any friends / acquaintances / hangers-on. 20
Send Gemalto a postcard. Pop into any Post Office branch and use your NFC enabled phone to pay for a postcard and stamp. Any Post Office store (branch finder) 15
Go entirely contactless for a day: Use your phone to buy your breakfast, lunch, dinner and any snacks you need for an entire 24-hour period. With Pret, McDonalds, EAT, Subway, Co-Operative Food and M&S among the retailers offering contactless payments. You should have plenty to choose from. Outlets availablehere 50
Take the boat: Use your Galaxy S3 to travel in style along the River Thames. For bonus points, take a snap of yourself and tweet it to us @Gemalto. Piers: North Greenwich (for the O2), London Bridge, Canary Wharf, Blackfriars, Embankment (and others) 20
Become a Museum of London expert:Use NFC to learn about exhibits and download theSoundtrack to London app:  15
Buy flowers for your wife/girlfriend using NFC: Earn point with your other half as well as on your way to winning the challenge. 15
Social suggestion:Complete a challenge issued by one of your social media followers


Wildcard:Spotted a new venue using NFC? Take advantage immediately and share your find online!



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