Visa's payWave to be incorporated into Samsung's next-gen phones


BARCELONA, Spain--Visa's payWave application will come pre-installed on all next-generation Samsung phones, in a new partnership between the financial giant and the handset maker. The devices will also come with an embedded secure element.

Bill Gajda, Visa's global head of mobile product, teased the announcement during a panel, "Building the Ecosystem for NFC Services," during Mobile World Congress.

The partnership is by no means an exclusive one. Visa has licensing agreements in place with a number of mobile payments partners including Isis. "We're there to license the Visa payWave app for free to any legitimate partner," said Gajda.

"It's a significant agreement that could give NFC a much-needed boost, given that Visa is a trusted payment brand, while Samsung is the top smartphone manufacturer in terms of shipments and a driving force behind the increasingly popular Android device platform," said Eden Zoller, consumer analyst, Ovum.

"I'm optimistic and more optimistic than I've ever been about NFC," said Gajda.

During a later Visa press conference, Gajda and Jim McCarthy, global head of product, further elaborated on the deal. They did not offer any details regarding which carriers or markets would have the new Samsung phones, which will be released later this year. 

"Samsung devices enabled with Visa payment functionality will no doubt be a powerful product offering--especially in markets where paying with a mobile device is becoming commonplace," said Rash in a prepared statement. "However, the key to making mobile payments broadly available all over the world is to offer financial institutions a secure way to provision millions of smartphones with payment account information--and that is exactly what Visa and Samsung are ready to deliver."

As part of the partnership, Samsung will work with banks to allow users to store payment information securely via the embedded chip. This information can be transmitted over-the-air though Visa's Mobile Provisioning Service and linked to the inked Samsung Key Management System.

Last week, Visa announced its Visa Ready Partner Program which certifies that devices, software and solutions used to process Visa transactions, such as mobile point of sale readers, are compatible with Visa's requirements.

For more:
- see this release
- see this Fast Company story

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