Intel Strikes Partnership Deal With Visa, Mobile Payments Hitting Atom Phones

Intel knows that the the desktop PC business ain't going to keep on rising forever, and with more and more users shifting to mobile devices, there's a very real need to shift business to that side of things. To wit, Intel and Visa are teaming up in a strategic alliance that will support the advancement of mobile commerce. It's a multi-device, multi-year deal that will see development of mobile commerce solutions for smartphones and tablets. During a press conference at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the companies outlined plans to collaborate to ensure consumers enjoy a consistent, streamlined, secure mobile commerce experience across Atom-based smartphones and tablets.

"Visa's agreement with Intel paves the way for financial institutions around the globe to offer their account holders mobile payments and financial services using innovative mobile devices and technologies designed by Intel," said John Partridge, President, Visa Inc. during the press conference. "This is another example of how Visa is making mobile payments broadly available across devices and operating systems and is ensuring that mobile commerce applications are aligned with existing technology and security standards established by the global payments industry."

For starters, Visa has certified Intel's Smartphone Reference Device powered by the Atom Z2460 for use with payWave, Visa's mobile payment technology that enables consumers to make fast and secure payments at retail locations by simply waving their mobile phone in front of a payment terminal. This will enable turn-key implementation for OEMs delivering NFC-enabled smartphones.

The Intel Smartphone Reference Device will host the Visa payWave payment application and features NFC (Near Field Communication) technology, the short range communications standard that enables mobile phones to securely transmit payment information to a payment terminal. When used in combination with a Visa-compliant UICC, smartphones based on the Intel Smartphone Reference Device handset can be enabled to connect to Visa Inc.'s mobile provisioning service providing financial institutions and mobile operators the means to securely download Visa payment account information and the Visa payWave application "over the air" to a secure chip on an NFC-equipped smartphone. The connection to Visa's mobile provisioning service can be enabled by a Trusted Services Management platform, such as Giesecke & Devrient's (G&D) platform.

Google's Wallet certainly gave a boost to the Nexus S back in the day, and it's certainly feasible to think that payWave can do the same for Intel-based devices. Now, if only tap-to-pay would full catch on here in the States...