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Top Companies Team Test NFC Experience at Mobile World Congress

At the Mobile World Congress (News - Alert), the GSMA, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Telefónica, and Visa, together with Giesecke & Devrient, Ingenico, ITN International and La Caixa, unveiled the availability of contactless mobile payments.
These companies collaborated to bring the first ever SIM-based NFC payments pilot to Mobile World Congress.
“It is a fantastic achievement to bring a full payment trial to Mobile World Congress and a testament to the hard work of the partners that this cross-industry collaboration has worked so well,” Michael O'Hara, chief marketing officer at the GSMA (News - Alert) said. “Mobile operators have been requesting SIM-based NFC handsets for some time now and it’s great to see such progress in this area. Now that the handsets are coming, we can expect to see a number of commercial launches of mobile SIM-based NFC services this year.”
Participating companies provided more than 400 NFC handsets to guests for use at the Congress. The Samsung (News - Alert) Star NFC handsets have Telefónica SIM cards from O2 pre-loaded with €60 airtime credit as well as a La Caixa Visa Mobile Payment Application.
Participants at the Mobile World Congress had the option of using their NFC phones to pay for food and drink up to a value of $101 at more than 30 merchant locations around the Congress.
Participants in the trial were allowed to purchase food and drink, simply by holding their Samsung NFC mobile phone against the contactless terminal at the participating merchants to pay for purchases under $13.50. Purchases above $13.50 required a passcode, which participants keyed into the handset before presenting it to the terminal. The transactions were authorized online, with funds deducted from a La Caixa Visa account.
Also, the partners have worked successfully to bring the NFC experience to Mobile World Congress with the intention of raising awareness of this technology in anticipation of the commercial launch of these SIM based handsets in the very near future.
Mobile NFC service is a project is the result of cross-industry collaboration with contributions from multiple partners that includes; Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Telefónica, and Visa, together with Giesecke & Devrient (News - Alert), Ingenico, ITN International and La Caixa. As project lead, the GSMA has been working closely with the partners to bring the pilot to this year’s Mobile World Congress.
These partners believe that Mobile NFC services would change the way people transact with their phones, everything from payments, traveling and ticketing will be transformed to ensure ease and convenience in the lifestyles of consumers around the world.

Jai C.S. is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Jai's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Amy Tierney

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