Visa and Samsung have teamed up to make the mobile company's new flagship the official phone of the London 2012 Olympics. The Samsung Galaxy S3, which launched last Thursday, has been dubbed the 'Olympic Games Phone' and the two companies intend to make use of the S3's NFC capabilities during the games.
Special limited edition versions of the S3 will be given to athletes at the games, sponsored by Visa and Samsung and will offer their users access to Visa's payWave system. Using the S3's in-built NFC (near field communication) technology, trialists will be able to pay for items at and around Olympic sites up to the tune of £20 with a tap of their phone on compatible terminals, anything over the £20 limit will require a pin or passkey however.
By the time the Olympics actually kicks off, there will be over 140,000 contactless terminals around the UK and the rate at which they're cropping has increased significantly. Sandra Alzetta, Senior Vice President of Mobile at Visa Europe said:
“Mobile technology has long been a revolutionary force in our lives and NFC-enabled devices such as the Galaxy S III will fundamentally change the way we pay. The future is mobile and cash usage will only continue to decline as people use their mobile devices to manage their money, shop and pay. This summer our partnership with Samsung will showcase all the advantages of the future of payments: security, convenience, speed and flexibility being forefront among them.”
The mobile NFC payment system isn't a new scheme, but it's taken time for the concept to make it to market. With alternative services like Google Wallet and more recently, Barclaycard's PayTag system, consumers are likely to see an ever-increasing number of NFC payment services, meaning they can leave their wallet at home on those trips to the pub or the when they need to pick up some bread and milk. Given enough time though, the wallet itself might well be phased out altogether.