Visa and Visa Europe have announced that NFC-enabled BlackBerry, Samsung and LG smartphones have been certified for use with the Visa payWave point of sale platform.
The BlackBerry Bold 9900, Bold 9790 and the Curve 9360 and Curve 9380 have been added to the list of Visa compliant payment products, along with the NFC-equipped version of the Samsung Galaxy S2 (i.e. not the version that’s out in the UK) and the LG Optimus NET NFC feature phone.
The announcement is a major step towards NFC acceptance as a payments system that will see us all pay for stuff in the high street, at vending machines and unlocking doors by tapping our phones against point of sale readers.
“The players are now in place for mobile payments to become a reality,” says 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.”
And all the pieces matter
Previously, MasterCard had certified the BlackBerry Bold 9900 and the Curve 9360 for its PayPass service and PayPal has added NFC support for its Android app.
“Today’s announcement is another example of the momentum we are seeing behind NFC as an industry standard for mobile payments,” said Nick Holland, senior analyst Yankee Group. “Yankee Group predicts that the value of NFC-based transactions will grow significantly, from $27 million in 2010 to $40 billion in 2014.”
Elsewhere at CES this year, RIM announced that its own NFC platform BlackBerry Tag will be rolling out as part of its OS 7.1 update. Sony’s powerful Xperia S also comes with an NFC chip inside, which works with function specific tags to turn on things like the GPS, the alarm clock or tap to share pictures with other NFC-enabled phones.