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Secure Transactions News

Visa certifies NFC handsets

Thursday 19 January 2012

All the new devices certified by Visa host the Visa payWave application on a secure SIM card and feature NFC, the short range communications standard that enables mobile phones to securely transmit payment information to a contactless payment terminal. 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. About 175,000 point-of-sale terminals accept payWave in Europe alone.

The certifications mean the NFC models have passed tests for security and usability conducted by Visa-approved labs. Visa has a compliance testing process for both mobile devices and the secure elements that host the Visa payWave mobile application. The process includes extensive technical, security and usability testing with respect to the Visa mobile payment functionality. This helps to ensure reliable and secure Visa transactions which are compatible with the global standard for chip-enabled payments, and establishes a required signal range for all mobile (NFC-enabled) Visa payment devices. Visa's compliance testing process helps to ensure the combination of the phone; secure chip and Visa’s mobile payment application will provide the level of security and user experience Visa account holders have come to expect from Visa.

MasterCard previously certified the BlackBerry Bold 9900 and BlackBerry Curve 9360 smartphones as PayPass-approved devices (cf. Smart Insights Weekly #11-44), and the Google Nexus S 4G Smartphone (cf. SIW #11-23).