Visa approves new smartphones for NFC payments

10 Jan 2012

The Samsung Galaxy S II

Visa Europe has certified NFC-enabled smartphones from RIM, Samsung and LG Electronics for use as payment devices using the Visa payWave app at the point of sale.

The Samsung Galaxy S II, the LG Optimus NET NFC, the BlackBerry Bold 9900, the BlackBerry Bold 9790, the BlackBerry Curve 9360 and the BlackBerry Curve 9380 have all been approved by Visa for use as mobile payment devices.

The new devices certified by Visa have the Visa payWave app on a SIM card and include near field communication technology, which allows users to securely pay for goods by waving their phones over an in-store terminal.

This will allow mobile device manufacturers, mobile operators and retailers to partner with financial institutions to offer Visa mobile payments to consumers around the world.

“The players are now in place for mobile payments to become a reality,” said Sandra Alzetta, head of Mobile Business Unit and Innovation, Strategy at Visa Europe.

“We are working with our member banks, mobile network operators and key handset partners to ensure that future payment technologies are as easy, intuitive and secure as card-based transactions are today.

“Today’s announcement plays a significant role in getting those new technologies into the hands of the consumer. It is a very exciting time for us all,” she said.

Testing payment security

Visa said it is aiming to ensure that mobile payment devices are in line with current technology and security standards which can easily integrate with the payments ecosystem.

Its payWave app is compatible with current NFC payment terminals installed at retail outlets across the globe, letting Visa account holders pay for goods with their mobile phones.

It has a compliance testing process for both the mobile devices and secure elements which host the payWave app, which includes technical and usability testing for Visa’s mobile payment functionality. This aims to ensure that mobile payments are compatible with the standard for chip-enabled payments and establishes a single range for all NFC Visa payment devices.