Samsung Uses Visa’s payWave for its NFC Payments App

If you think that the 2012 London Olympics is all about sports, think again.  The Olympics is now going high-tech and near-field communication is part of it.

Samsung has announced that they are partnering with Visa Inc. in setting up more than 3,000 wireless payment terminals at several venues during the Olympics.  These terminals would help people pay for certain purchases with their phones using NFC technology.  Visa cardholders could link their payPass cards to their phones to enable mobile payments.

People who want to take advantage of their NFC-enabled phones would need to download an app.  As usual, paying for purchases only require a wave, but the app gives you the ability to take a look at your transaction history and even check your outstanding balance.

The app allows users to make instant payments up to GBP15.  To be sure, however, purchases exceeding that amount would need a passcode or password to be processed.

Sounds great, right?  But what if you do not have an NFC-capable phone?  No sweat, Visa might be using a microSD card to carry the NFC chip, and non-NFC payments would still be accommodated.

Both Visa and Samsung are major sponsors of the 2012 Olympics.  This is the first time that two Olympic games sponsors are partnering with each other to bring wireless payments into the games.

The payWave app is considered to be the official mobile payments app for the Olympic games.

You may have heard that the organizers are looking to get the largest free Wi-Fi network in Europe up and running.  Plus there is talk that several events are to be broadcast in 3-D as well.

With millions of people expected to watch the live games as they happen and when they happen, this development is like to push the level of awareness people have when it comes to NFC.  With a smaller threshold, wider visibility and prominence, NFC could start to shine in people’s minds as a way to pay.  If you want to see this in action, catch Samsung’s demo during the Mobile World Congress.

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