Visa-enabled mobiles get ready for take-off in the US

Whilst users of Visa PayWave cards are trialling near-field-communication (NFC) cards for transactions under a tenner in the London area, it seems that the US is poised to leap-frog ahead.

US Bank, one of the biggest banks in the US, has announced it is teaming up with MasterCard and Nokia for a major trial of RFID-enabled mobiles across the whole of North America.

Punters will be given a Nokia 6131 handset with MasterCard PayPass compatibility, which they can then use at gas stations, movie theatres, concession stands, vending machines, quick-serve restaurants, taxi cabs and sports arenas.

The only provision with the PayPass system in the US is that transactions must be under $25.00.

As I've said before, I have grave doubts about the security of the PayWave and PayPass systems as far as cards are concerned, but with mobiles it's a different ballgame, as they can be PIN protected.

Yes, mobiles are lost or stolen, but the fact is that punters tend to look after their mobiles a lot more closely than cards, which can go walkies without the owner knowing about it...