MWC Preview: mobile payments become reality

With Mobile World Congress only days away, news is already beginning to flood the airways. Mobile payments are one of the many hot topics that are sure to be talked about next week. Visa and Samsung have already revealed they will be showcasing a mobile payments application for the Summer Olympics in London at MWC, while other companies like Ericsson added new services to its already existing m-commerce portfolio. Below are just a few of the many mobile payments announcements TelecomEngine expects to come out of Mobile World Congress.


Samsung, FeliCa Networks form Mobile NFC partnership
Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (Seoul, South Korea), a semiconductor provider, and FeliCa Networks, Inc. (Tokyo), a provider of NFC service platforms, announced a partnership for the adoption of near field communication (NFC)-based mobile wallet in Japan. As a strategic partner, Samsung will develop NFC compatible FeliCa IC services for wallet function on mobile devices. The chips will offer consumers applications from the mobile wallets including prepaid money, credit cards and transportation tickets.


Ericsson announces new m-commerce portfolio


Ericsson (Stockholm, Sweden) unveiled new m-commerce services to its portfolio, which is designed to accelerate access and interconnection between the emerging m-commerce eco-system and the financial world. Ericsson is launching two new services within its m-commerce portfolio - Ericsson Converged Wallet and Ericsson Merchant Wallet. Ericsson Converged Wallet can convert the accounts of consumers already on the Ericsson Billing & Charging Solution to m-wallets. The Ericsson Merchant Wallet service will help provide large Internet brands and merchants with a service for payments including virtual currency transactions and loyalty points.


Visa, Samsung reveal mobile payments application for London Olympics


Visa (San Francisco, Calif., USA) and Samsung (Seoul, South Korea) revealed the official mobile payments application of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The application is based on Visa's payWave technology that enables contactless payments at the Point of Sale. To make payments, customers hold the phone in front of a contactless reader at the point of purchase. Purchases above 15 pounds require a passcode. The application also lets customers check their transaction history and view their up to date account balance. This form of mobile contactless payments is protected by the same standard terms and conditions that apply to Visa cards.


G&D provides NFC-Capable SIM Cards for Italian mobile payment project


Technology group Giesecke & Devrient (Munich, Germany) are supplying NFC-capable SIM cards to Nòverca (Rome), an MVNO, for Italy’s first pilot project for mobile payments launched by Banca Intesa Sanpaolo. Six hundred employees and customers of Banca Intesa Sanpaolo can now use their mobile phones to make contactless payments in the northern Italian cities of Milan and Turin at more than 3,000 POS (point of sale) terminals. G&D has equipped the SIM cards with MasterCard PayPass technology for contactless payment transactions.

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