Visa, Nokia Launch Phone Payment Project

Is there anything that’s not going to be incorporated into your cell phone at some time or another? This time, it’s your wallet. Eileen Ng of The Associated Press (via The Seattle Post-Intelligencer) writes:

Visa International and Finnish cell phone maker Nokia Corp. jointly released the world’s first credit card payment pilot system in Malaysia, allowing consumers to shop and pay using their mobile phones.

The “Mobile Visa Wave Payment Pilot” project marks the first step in plans to turn mobile phones into electronic wallets for consumers, officials said.

It builds on the Visa Wave smart card technology that uses radio frequencies to eliminate the need to swipe credit card into a reader. Customers wave cards in front of the reader to make payments, similar to “touch and go” cards used in transport systems.

During the four-month trial period, 200 Visa Wave cardholders in Malaysia will be given a specially designed Nokia phone that can be used to make payments in 2,500 outlets nationwide that have Visa Wave readers, officials said.

“It’s a natural progression. There are more mobile phones in the world today than plastic cards. We see this as a good marriage,” said Paul Jung, Visa Asia-Pacific’s regional head for emerging products and technology

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