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Mobile Contactless Payments Trials Conducted At Mobile World Congress 2010

The GSMA, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Telefonica, and Visa along with Giesecke & Devrient (News - Alert), Ingenico, ITN International and La Caixa, have all trialed contactless mobile payments live at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and as a result have brought the first ever SIM-based NFC payments pilot to the event.
The participating companies provided more than 400 NFC handsets to guests for use at the Congress. The Samsung Star NFC handsets contain Telefonica (News - Alert) SIM cards from O2 pre-loaded with $81.9 airtime credit and a La Caixa Visa Mobile Payment Application. Participants will be able to use their NFC phones to pay for food and drink up to a value of $102.4 at more than 30 merchant locations around the Congress.
According to Michael O'Hara, chief marketing officer at the GSMA (News - Alert), mobile operators had been requesting SIM-based NFC handsets for quite some time. Moreover, global trials have shown a growing demand for mobile transaction services, particularly, proximity payments. A number of commercial launches of mobile SIM-based NFC services are expected this year.
As more SIM based handsets become commercially available, it will help to increase global adoption and rollout of mobile NFC.
The project is the result of cross-industry collaboration with contributions from multiple partners. For example, Samsung (News - Alert) Electronics Co. Ltd. provided the NFC-enabled Samsung Star handsets and also offered technical support to ensure the stability of the first NFC payment trial. Telefonica’s 'O2 Wallet' enables display and management of the core payment application on the handset. On the other hand, the unique color screen contactless EFT930 G wireless payment terminal was provided by Ingenico.

Calvin Azuri is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Calvin’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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