Visa Europe and Wireless Dynamics have developed a mobile payment solution that’ll enable customers to use their iPhones for contactless payments. It’s based on the Wireless Dynamics iCarte accessory, which will be supplied by participating banks and mobile operators.
The iCarte plugs into the bottom of an iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS or iPhone3G. It contains an NFC/RFID antenna and an embedded Secure Element where the Visa card details are stored. Payments are made via a dedicated app.
Visa Europe’s first deployment is in Turkey with the Yapi Kredi bank and mobile operator Turkcell. The product is also being used in the UK by Visa staff in London with prepaid service provider FIS and the Coventry Building Society.
Sandra Alzetta, SVP and Head of Innovation at Visa Europe, said “It’s clear from trials across Europe that mobile contactless payment is a strong and compelling customer proposition. Visa recognises that consumers who use smart phones like iPhone are more likely to be early adopters of advanced payment technology. Given that the availability of a wide range of mobile devices supporting contactless services remains a key hurdle for take-up, we are overcoming this by bringing the capability to the iPhones already in their pockets.”
Research conducted by Visa Europe last year confirmed strong consumer demand for mobile contactless payments. 41% of respondents said they ‘definitely would’ or ‘probably would’ sign up to use Visa mobile payments; a figure that rose to 57% of iPhone users. Importantly, 87% of iPhone users also said they’d be willing to use an accessory to enable mobile contactless payments.