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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Contactless mobile payments now commercially available from Visa

Visa Inc. and Visa Europe have announced the commercial availability of mobile contactless payments. This is the first time in Visa’s history that a mobile contactless payment solution has been included in its list of Visa-compliant products available for commercial deployment.

The announcement follows 18 months of technology development in partnership with Texas-based DeviceFidelity and trials with financial institutions in the United States, Europe and Asia.

The solution supported by Visa is DeviceFidelity’s In2Pay microSD product, which can slot into the memory card slot of compatible smartphones or can be used in an external jacket-type case. Handsets compatible with the technology include the BlackBerry Bold 9650, the iPhone 4, the iPhone 3GS, the iPhone 3G and the Android-powered Samsung Galaxy S. Symbian and Windows Phone devices are expected to be added to the list.

Bill Gajda, Head of Visa Mobile, said “This is a historic milestone for Visa and its clients. In addition to issuing plastic magnetic stripe or chip-enabled payment cards, financial institutions can now consider offering their account holders a new technology that enables them to transform their existing phones into fully functional mobile payment devices.”

The NFC-enabled payment technology was previously only available to financial institutions that were participating with Visa in mobile payment trials. It’s now available to any bank that issues Visa cards. Those banks would provide account holders with the pre-configured microSD card, which works with the existing contactless payment terminals in many shops.

Visa Europe will also be offering a new pan-European management service designed to support the roll-out of Visa issuers’ mobile contactless payment programmes.

We spoke to Visa Europe's Mary Carol Harris about mobile payments at Mobile World Congress in February. Click here to listen to the podcast.


Author: The Fonecast
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