Visa and Samsung have announced an alliance aimed at accelerating global mobile payments.
The deal, which combines Visa's payment expertise and Samsung's mobile technology, will allow financial institutions to use the Visa Mobile Provisioning Service to securely download payment account information to NFC-enabled Samsung devices.
Additionally, the Visa payWave applet will be loaded onto Samsung devices featuring Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, turning the smartphones into contactless payment options.
"Samsung devices enabled with Visa payment functionality will no doubt be a powerful product offering — especially in markets where paying with a mobile device is becoming commonplace," Jim McCarthy, Visa's global head of product, said in a statement. "However, the key to making mobile payments broadly available all over the world is to offer financial institutions a secure way to provision millions of smartphones with payment account information ... and that is exactly what Visa and Samsung are ready to deliver."
The two companies have worked on mobile payments before. They partneredin May 2012 for a limited-edition Galaxy S3 smartphone for athletes and trialists competing in the summer's Olympic games. The specialised phones came with Visa's payWave technology for users to wave their device at the register to check out at participating London retailers.
The technology was introduced only three months earlier, when Visa inked a deal with Oberthur Technologies to bring payWave to mobile phones.
Dr. Wom-Pyo Hong, president of Media Solution Center at Samsung, called Visa a pioneer in NFC devices, adding that the phone maker is again leading the way for NFC-based mobile payments.
"The partnership with Visa represents a step towards a global mobile payment platform," Hong said in a statement. "We believe that we have a strong value proposition for financial institutions that will ultimately allow consumer choice in NFC payments."
Visa is demonstrating its payWave feature and Mobile Provisioning Service during this week's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.