By now, we should have been able to make contactless payments with pretty much any mobile phone, at just about any supermarket or restaurant. Or at least that’s what many of us expected for 2012. Unfortunately, NFC payment technology has been slow to progress over the past couple of years.
There are still relatively few smartphones enabled for NFC use, while mobile payment systems, like Google Wallet, have been experiencing security issues of all sorts. However, we have some good news to report today on this front – MasterCard has announced the certification of 17 new smartphones for its PayPass Ready program.
By far, the most important Android name on the certification list is the HTC One X. It’s nice to see that the Taiwanese are actually doing their best to ensure that their new flagship device satisfies all needs that an user might have.
Aside from the One X, there are a couple of phones on the list that were already using PayPass, like the LG Viper 4G LTE or the Samsung Galaxy Nexus HSPA+. Newcomers include the likes of the LG Optimus Elite, Samsung Wave Y, Samsung Galaxy mini 2, Samsung Galaxy S Advance, Sony Xperia S, Sony Xperia P, and Sony Xperia sola. MasterCard has also put the stamp of approval on Intel’s “smartphone reference device”, which means that the list will grow soon, as there should be several Intel-based phones released in the near future.
Finally, there are also a couple of non-Android smartphones certified for PayPass use – the Blackberry Bold 9900/9790, Blackberry Curve 9630/9380, the Nokia 603, and the Nokia Lumia 610.
Some of these smartphones should be easily identifiable as “PayPass Ready” soon enough, as MasterCard has also unveiled a brand identifier to set supported handsets apart from non-supported devices. The brand identifier will be included as a sticker on some of the approved phones or on the devices’ packaging.
According to MasterCard officials, “millions of phones will ship with NFC technology embedded within them in the near future” and this announcement is just a first step towards a brighter future for “tap-and-go payments”. You can check out the company’s full press release below, which includes the list of smartphones certified for PayPass technology.
As for the users of other devices, don’t worry too much about your phone missing the first wave of certifications. Try using Google Wallet or other similar services for the time being!
Unveils “MasterCard PayPass Ready” brand mark for device manufacturers
PURCHASE, N.Y.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–MasterCard Worldwide today announced several near field communications (NFC) enabled smartphones have been certified for use with MasterCard PayPass® technology, providing consumers with devices capable of making fast, secure contactless payments at hundreds of thousands of PayPass merchant locations around the globe. The new MasterCard-certified devices include the BlackBerry® Bold™ 9900 / 9790 and BlackBerry® Curve™ 9360 / 9380, HTC One X, Intel® Smartphone Reference Device, LG Viper™ 4G LTE, LG Optimus Elite, Nokia 603, Nokia Lumia 610 NFC, Samsung Wave Y, Samsung Galaxy mini 2, Samsung Galaxy S Advance, Samsung Galaxy Nexus (GT-i9250), Sony Xperia S, Sony Xperia P and Sony Xperia sola.
MasterCard also unveiled a new brand identifier – “MasterCard PayPass® Ready” – now available to device manufacturers to use with NFC-enabled smartphones that have been tested and certified by MasterCard for use with PayPass technology. The MasterCard PayPass Ready identifier will signify a device is available for commercial deployment of PayPass, and can be included as a sticker on the approved device, and in an approved device’s packaging, marketing collateral and advertisements. Nokia and BlackBerry-maker RIM are among the first handset manufacturers committed to supporting this brand mark.
“Nokia is honored that the Nokia Lumia 610 NFC will be one the world’s first smartphones to include MasterCard’s PayPass Ready brand mark,” said Andrea Bacioccola, NFC Lead Program Manager, Nokia. “This sends a clear message to operators, banks and other service providers that Nokia is able to quickly enable their payment services on this smartphone.”
“We are pleased to support the MasterCard PayPass Ready brand mark as it provides consumers with a visual confirmation that an NFC-enabled BlackBerry smartphone can easily be enabled with a MasterCard account for tap-and-go payments,” said Andrew Bocking, SVP Software Product Management, RIM.
By working closely with standards bodies including EMVCo and the NFC Forum, MasterCard continues to lead the industry in testing and certification processes for mobile payment devices. Devices certified by MasterCard go through a rigorous testing process by a MasterCard-accredited laboratory to ensure devices are functionally reliable and interoperable.
“In the near future, millions of phones will ship with NFC technology embedded within them. The new PayPass Ready identifier will help consumers make informed device purchasing decisions by providing a visual mark that indicates devices are certified to make simple, smart and secure payments via the MasterCard PayPass network,” said Mung Ki Woo, group executive, Mobile at MasterCard.
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So, okay, I have a One X, I’m really interested in this stuff… What do I do? I’ve checked the text, didn’t find anything: is there an app or something? Where I live Google Wallet is not available… :(