Mobile World Congress: Visa and Samsung strike NFC global alliance

Visa has struck a deal with Samsung to further drive uptake of mobile contactless payments via Near-Field-Communications (NFC).

The deal will mean people can make contactless payments via Visa’s PayWave mobile payment app which will be preloaded on the next generation of Samsung’s NFC-enabled devices.

The news, revealed at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona today, makes Samsung the first partner in Visa’s Ready Programme, created to help third parties including platform providers, card manufacturers and mobile network operators more easily connect to the contactless payment system.

Speaking at the unveiling Visa’s global head of products Jim MacCarthy said the deal marks a “huge step forward” in the NFC market and Visa's strategic goal , bringing a new wave of Samsung phones that will be PayWave and NFC ready.

“The challenge we face today is the mobile payment world is still very complex and still changing rapidly, and consumers, platforms and operators are confused about where to get started how to move forward. But we all know at the centre of commerce will be mobile devices. So our big challenge is how to make mobile work as well as our credit cards and this is a step towards that,” he said.

Visa’s executive VP of marketing and product, Europe, Mariano Dima, said the move to embed the Visa mobile payment app within Samsung phones marks a “cornerstone” for the brand.

NFC and contactless is getting significant growth in Europe, according to Dima. “In 2012 we distributed Samsung phones and point of sale devices and saw transactions on contactless payments quadruple compared to the previous year – with more than 10 million transactions a month globally,” he said.

If this pace of consumption continues over 50 per cent of mobile payments will be contactless by 2020, according to Dima.

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