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MasterCard certifies raft of NFC mobiles

Jennifer Scott

MasterCard has certified HTC, Intel, LG, Nokia, RIM, Samsung and Sony mobiles to use its near field communications (NFC) payment system

The credit card company's PayPass allows users to make touch payments using their handsets, much like using a bus pass or Oyster card, but with the money coming straight from a bank account.

A number of devices from these manufacturers will now have “MasterCard PayPass Ready” branding to show customers both the mobile hardware and the NFC system are ready to go.

Nokia and RIM are the first two companies to sign up to using to the stamp of approval, but there are plenty more devices which MasterCard has assessed and could use the mark if they choose.

At least four BlackBerry smartphones passed the test, starting with the Bold 9900, Bold 9790, Curve 9360 and Curve 9380, along with HTC’s flagship One X smartphone, Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus and Sony’s Xperia S.

It is not just the work of MasterCard, however, and the firm worked closely with standard bodies, including EMVCo and the NFC Forum, to ensure the tests were strenuous enough.

“In the near future, millions of phones will ship with NFC technology embedded within them,” claimed Mung Ki Woo, group executive of mobile at MasterCard.

“The new PayPass Ready identifier will help consumers make informed purchasing decisions by providing a visual mark that indicates devices are certified to make simple, smart and secure payments.”

Most of the big credit card players, as well as mobile operators, have embraced NFC, with Barclaycard working alongside Orange to bring contactless mobile payments to the UK, and O2 following in hot pursuit.

This form of branding would enable manufacturers to retrospectively fit it to their handsets, if they pass the compliance tests, rather than going into partnerships with card companies or operators.  


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