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Nokia N9 ‘won’t support contactless payments’, lacks NFC security protocol

Its great smartphone hope, the Nokia N9, is set to arrive with a near-field communication chip, but won’t be able to act as a mobile wallet and handle payments, lacking a critical security protocol.

Getting slightly more technical, an embedded secure element or the Single Wire Protocol (SWP) is necessary for NFC to be used for contactless payments or as a ticket.

Nokia are reportedly focusing on tyhe connectivity features that NFC can bring; like streaming music to Nokia’s own Play 360 speakers, or sharing content between NFC-enabled devices.

Nokia UK and Ireland’s head of services, sales and marketing, Rupert Englander told NFC World that mobile wallets are still over a year away from becoming a major feature.

“Nokia’s view is NFC is about more than just mobile payments,” says Englander. “We’re probably a little while away from being able to go into a shop and easily use our mobile phone to pay for things with NFC.

“We think the phone as the mobile wallet, where it’s simple to buy and it just works, is 12 to 18 months away. There are various trials out there and some services, like Orange’s Quick Tap, but there are restrictions, like you have to be an Orange subscriber, a Barclaycard customer, and can only shop in certain places.

“NFC mobile payments won’t take off until these barriers go, and while the recently announced UK joint venture for NFC between Telefonica UK (O2), Everything Everywhere and Vodafone will help take those barriers away, it will take time to come to fruition,” he added.

Nokia continues to experiment with different applications of NFC, with recent results including a special edition of Angry Birds where extra levels can be unlocked when another NFC-enabled Nokia phone is nearby.

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