Visa and Samsung sign global alliance agreement to accelerate mobile NFC payments
Visa and Samsung have announced a global alliance that will see all next generation Samsung near field communications (NFC) devices embedded with the Visa payWave app, while Visa will offer financial institutions its Mobile Provisioning Service to safely upload customers' payment account information into the devices.
According to the agreement, financial institutions that are planning to launch mobile payment programmes will be able to use the Visa Mobile Provisioning Service to securely download payment account information to NFC-enabled Samsung devices. In addition, Samsung has agreed to load the Visa payWave applet, which enables consumers to make 'wave and pay' contactless payments using mobile devices, onto its mobile devices featuring NFC technology.
Eden Zoller, consumer analyst at research firm, Ovum, commented: 'This is 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. Both Samsung and Visa are committed to NFC and we would expect them to put effort and marketing muscle behind making consumers aware of the potential benefits that NFC payments can bring. This is desperately needed as for most consumers, mobile payments – let alone NFC – is simply not on their radar.
'This is backed up by Ovum's latest Consumer Insights survey; when consumers were asked to rank their most frequently applications, mobile commerce related applications were very low down on their list compared to mobile games, email, and social networking. Visa says contactless payments have quadrupled over last year and now generate around 13 million transactions per month,' noted Zoller.
The initial areas of engagement that the two companies have agreed to include a global strategic alliance in which the pair will work together to enable the next generation of Samsung mobile devices with Visa payment technology, and to partner with financial institutions to accelerate the availability of mobile payment solutions globally.
To enable financial institutions to launch large scale mobile NFC payment programs, Samsung will offer banks the ability to load payment account information over-the-air to a secure chip embedded in Samsung devices, using Visa's Mobile Provisioning Service, which is linked to Samsung's Key Management System, a service that creates secure data storage domains for issuers.
The Visa payWave mobile applet will be preloaded onto selected next generation Samsung mobile devices featuring NFC technology and an embedded secure element. Off the shelf, these devices are ready to be personalised with Visa payment account information, a simple step that consumers will be able to initiate using a mobile payment application provided by their financial institution.
Mariano Dima, executive vice president, Visa Europe, said: 'This announcement represents a partnership between two pioneering and innovative global entities to create an exciting and engaging service. A Samsung device equipped with the Visa contactless payment service is a powerful proposition and will allow us to make mobile payments a reality for people around the world.
ABI Research forecasts that a total of 1.95 billion NFC enabled devices will ship in 2017.