Mobile payments are quite clearly riding the wave into the future, and with Google Wallet taking charge on just a few phones, there's plenty of opportunity for others to come in and steal some of that pie. Visa has recently begun the certification of smartphones for use as Visa Mobile Payment Devices. In particularly, NFC-enabled smartphones from Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, and Research In Motion approved for use with Visa payWave, Visa's mobile application for payments at the point-of-sale. Visa payWave will support the Galaxy S II, LG Optimus NET NFC, BlackBerry Bold 9900, Bold 9700 and Curve 9360, as well as the Curve 9380.
All the new devices certified by Visa host the Visa payWave application on a secure SIM card and feature NFC (Near Field Communication) technology, the short range communications standard that enables mobile phones to securely transmit payment information to a contactless payment terminal.
"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's certification of these smartphones paves the way for mobile device manufacturers, mobile operators and retailers to partner with financial institutions to offer Visa mobile payment functionality to consumers globally. It's hard to say at such an early stage which process will end up generating the most buzz and customer use, but once every smartphone starts to ship with NFC, the war will certainly be on.