Visa Officially Certifies Smartphones for Use as Mobile Payment Devices

Visa today announced that NFC-enabled smartphones from Samsung, LG, and Research In Motion have been certified for use with Visa’s mobile app, payWave. The Samsung Galaxy S II, LG Optimus NET NFC, and BlackBerry Bold 9900 are among the devices added to a list of Visa-compliant payment products. All the new devices certified by Visa host the Visa payWave application on a secure SIM card and feature Near Field Communication technology.

“This is an important step for Visa, its financial institution partners and the mobile industry,” said Bill Gajda, Global Head of Mobile Product, Visa Inc. “In addition to issuing plastic magnetic stripe or chip-enabled payment cards, financial institutions can now consider offering their accountholders a way to transform their smartphones into fully functional mobile payment devices.” 

Visa believes that it has played a leadership role in establishing global standards for mobile payments, making sure “that they are aligned with existing technology and security standards for chip payment cards and can easily be integrated into the existing payments ecosystem”:

Visa has a compliance testing process for both mobile devices and the secure elements that host the Visa payWave mobile application. The process includes extensive technical and usability testing with respect to the Visa mobile payment functionality. This helps to ensure reliable and secure Visa transactions which are compatible with the global standard for chip-enabled payments, and establishes a required signal range for all mobile (NFC-enabled) Visa payment devices.

“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.”