Visa Offering a Non-Isis NFC Mobile Payment Service

Posted by at 12:39 pm on February 27, 2012

Visa today announced plans for a new mobile payment service that would make use of NFC-equipped smartphones, though not necessarily those for the company’s Isis joint venture with AT&T, T-Mobile USA, and Verizon Wireless.

According to Visa, the program works thus: Consumers buy a Visa-certified, NFC-equipped phone; they contact their Visa provider and ask to activate mobile payments; Visa links the user’s bank account to the phone securely and requires a passcode that unlocks the NFC chip on the phone; Visa then downloads the payment application and account details to the handset. Consumers would then be able to make mobile payments anywhere Visa’s payWave system is accepted. Visa said that the platform could also allow vendors to offer their own mobile payments apps that tie into the Visa-approved payment service.

How It Works

For consumers the service will include support for Visa and non-Visa payment, loyalty or mass transit applications on their smartphone. Because of the flexible and global nature of the technology, consumers could, for example, use their mobile phone to download the appropriate mass transit application to pay for a subway ride in a distant city. A typical consumer experience to provision a smartphone for payments may include the following steps:

  • The consumer purchases an NFC-equipped mobile phone that has passed Visa’s compliance testing, from their choice of operator
  • The consumer contacts the financial institution that issued their Visa account, or responds to an offer from a service provider or operator, asking to activate mobile payments with their smartphone
  • Visa’s mobile provisioning solution links the appropriate parties and begins the process of provisioning the mobile phone for payment:
    • Authenticates the account holder by requesting the user enter a passcode
    • Facilitate the exchange of secure “keys” among the various parties that unlock the NFC-enabled chip on the smartphone
    • Initiates the secure download of payment account information to the smartphone

Intel is a Partner

Intel, with its new Intel Atom-based smartphones and tablets, has agreed to use Visa’s global provisioning service to enable mobile subscribers to securely download payment account information to NFC-enabled devices.

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