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Visa to make contactless chips a standard feature
PARIS, France (12/9/10)--Visa Inc. is making mobile payments a commercially available standard feature commercially available for its partner financial institutions in the U.S--including credit unions. Following 18 months of technology development in partnership with Texas-based DeviceFidelity, and trials with financial institutions in the U.S., Europe and Asia, Visa has tested and supports commercialization of In2Pay microSD for use with smart phones. Smartphone models compatible for use with this landmark technology include the BlackBerry Bold 9650, the iPhone 4, the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3G, and the Android-based Samsung Vibrant Galaxy S. Visa said it also expects to add additional phone models, including phones based on the Symbian and Windows operating systems. “In addition to issuing plastic magnetic stripe or chip-enabled payment cards, financial institutions can now consider offering their account holders a new technology that enables them to transform their existing phones into fully functional mobile payment devices,” said Bill Gajda, head of Visa Mobile. The microSD payment technology was previously available only to financial institutions participating with Visa in mobile payment trials that included some of the largest financial institutions in the U.S., such as JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo Bank, US Bancorp and Bank of America. Now Visa issuers can obtain the technology under Visa’s standard contract terms and can load the Visa mobile payment application to microSD cards. Issuers who choose to adopt the technology can provide their account holders with a microSD card that can be inserted into the phone’s existing memory slot to enable the device for payment. The technology is compatible with existing contactless payment terminals already installed at retail outlets worldwide and enables account holders to hold the phone in front a payment terminal to pay. “This is a significant step towards the next generation of payments, loyalty and rewards, allowing banks and retailers to build entirely new business models,” said Nick Holland, a senior analyst with Yankee Group. “Visa’s announcement clearly illustrates that the future of payments will be mobile.”


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