Royal Bank of Canada chose to store data in the cloud, rather than use the mobile phone's secure element, in a mobile payment system it plans to launch this year.

The RBC Secure Cloud mobile payments service utilizes Near Field Communication technology and represents the first in Canada to use cloud storage, the Toronto-based bank states in a July 18 press release.

With the customer's payment card and personal data in the cloud, RBC effectively "assumes the security burden" because the data stays with the bank, rather than on a mobile phone, RBC says.

The mobile payment system will also support zero liability policies from Interac, Visa and MasterCard, the bank adds.

"We understand the importance of security to our clients and make safeguarding their personal information our highest priority," Paul Gerics, vice-president of information security at RBC, states in the release.

While initially operating with NFC for consumer payment and interaction at merchant terminals, RBC Secure Cloud will also operate with other methods such as bar codes and QR codes, the bank says.

The system will operate as an open wallet, with future support for non-RBC payment methods and inter-bank access.

The bank will operate its cloud-based secure element through technology that Dutch vendor Bell ID launched last month for mobile NFC services.

RBC, the largest bank in Canada based on assets and market capitalization, provides clients access through RBC Mobile Apps for downloads to Android, Blackberry, iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and Microsoft devices.

The bank has been active in NFC mobile payment testing, such as with McDonald's restaurants in Canada.

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