Visa and Samsung partner to accelerate mobile (NFC) payments

Visa and Samsung have announced a global alliance in order to accelerate near-field communication (NFC) mobile payments.

Visa and Samsung have announced a global alliance to accelerate near-field communication (NFC) mobile payments.

Visa will include its payWave applet on the next generation of Samsung NFC-enabled handsets. This technology allows customers to add Visa payment account information to make contactless payments.

Under the alliance Visa will also partner with financial institutions to push forward global mobile payment solutions.

Any financial firms that wish to launch a mobile payments program will be able to use the Visa Mobile Provisioning Service to load payment account information over-the-air to a secure chip in Samsung NFC-enabled devices.

At the end of 2012, Visa predicted that half of UK Visa payments will be made through mobile devices by 2020. The payments company also stated that by the end of 2013, 50% of the UK’s population will have a contactless bank card and there will be 175,000 contactless payment terminals.

Last week, just before Mobile World Congress kicked off in Barcelona, Computer Weekly spoke to Pierre Combelles, business lead for the GSMA’s NFC programme. He said that the adoption of NFC was a “long process that will keep gaining speed.”

Combelles said that operators and vendors had come far after making the decision to build NFC handsets which would open the market for service providers. However, the industry now needs the support of the service providers to accelerate the adoption of NFC.

“Our customers say, ‘It’s fine but what services do I have?’ We need to engage with service providers, and there seems to be a reasonable customer base. Most new smartphones are NFC enabled… It’s fine to have a handset, but not if you don’t have the SIM for secure transactions,” he said.

Combelles said the UK has not been the leading country in Europe for mobile payments, but Barclays and Natwest were pioneers by conducting innovative banking schemes around mobile.

“Operators provide a consistent interface for banks and providers and so far UK operators have worked separately. There has been a joint venture called Weve focused first on mobile marketing and it’s very likely that there will be a movement towards payments,” he said.

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