As depicted on the previous page, the overall setup process to get the StarHub SmartWallet ready is relatively a straightforward process. Although the concept of using a phone to make payments is no different from using plastic cards to make payment (tap and pay), the process proved to be embarrassing and full of anxiety.
Our first attempt was to purchase something from the Guardian outlet at Ion Orchard. We specifically chose this location under the assumption that shops in town would be equipped with the latest payment terminals. We waited till there was no queue at the cashier before plucking our courage to approach the staff at the counter.
Similar to what most of our trial users experienced, informing the cashier that we were going to make payment via our mobile phone got us some awkward silence and stares. We made sure that NFC was enabled on our device, and that the payment card option (EZ-Link in this case), was ready to go.
When the cashier informed us to go ahead and tap, we placed our Galaxy Note II device on the sales terminal. After waiting anxiously for a few seconds, there was no response. The reader could not detect the phone. We gave it another try, but it was still unsuccessful.
Even though the NFC payment did not go through, the cashier was intrigued by the idea of using a phone to make payment and enquired about it. Despite not having a successful NFC payment transaction, we shared with the staff on what NFC is all about, and how mobile payment will change in the coming months as the three telcos push out more NFC handsets. We made another unsuccessful attempt at the Guardian outlet in Causeway Point a week later.
Despite the two failed attempts, we decided to give it another try at Kallang Leisure Park. We went to the Watson outlet where we attempted to make the transaction via NFC FEVO Prepaid MasterCard. It was yet another unsuccessful attempt.
Undeterred, we decided to give it another shot at a Guardian outlet. In our fourth attempt, we wanted to test if placing the phone in different positions on the sales terminal reader mattered. We positioned the Galaxy Note II in landscape mode, and the reader could not detect it. We rotated it and adjusted the phone at different angles, and to our surprise, the reader detected the phone at one position (more on it below) and the transaction went through!
With the boost in confidence, we decided to test out it again at Cold Storage. With the phone placed at the same position as it did in Guardian, the transaction was successful too on our fifth attempt.
As you should have guessed by now, the placement of the phone was critical in determining whether the NFC transaction could go through. As you can see in the photo below, the sales terminal has its reader at the bottom. If we were to place the Galaxy Note II as we did in our first photo in this article, the reader obviously could not detect it.