Following 18 months of testing in the US, Europe and Asia, Visa has made its “In2Pay” smartphone mobile payment chip commercially available to financial institutions:
Issuers who choose to adopt the technology can provide their account holders with a tiny microSD card that can be inserted into the phoneâ€™s existing memory slot to enable the device for payment. The technology is compatible with existing contactless payment terminals already installed at retail outlets worldwide and enables account holders to simply hold the phone in front a payment terminal in order to pay.
This technology also opens the way for mobile operators, retailers and other stakeholders in the payments ecosystem to partner with financial institutions to bring Visa mobile payment functionality to consumers.
In2Pay requires a special microSD card to be inserted into one of the reasonable range of smartphones it currently supports, including Blackberry, iPhone 4/3GS/3G, and Samsung phones. Visa is hoping to add Windows and Symbian phones to the list it supports in the near future.
In the case of the iPhone, which has no microSD slot, a special case is required. Here’s the process explained by DeviceFidelity, the makers of the special iPhone case: Making a VISA payment with the iPhone (PDF).
This is yet another step in the process of the mobile taking over from your wallet, and this type of technology will slowly be integrated into phones as standard, rather than being an “add-on” such as this.
photo credit: Tom Purves