Visa Announces NFC Digital Wallet

The recently announced Google Wallet might have been given Visa’s stamp of approval, but the credit card giant also has their own digital payment system in the works.

Confirmed by Steve Perry, Visa’s commercial director in Europe, Visa is set to launch it’s own virtual wallet at the end of Summer 2012.

Perry confirmed the release at the same European security summit that a recent 2012 London Olympics branded and NFC-capable Samsung smartphone was also announced by Visa.

According to the reveal, the new Visa virtual wallet service will include multiple-card holding capabilities and be available on mobile phones.

“It will work with not just Visa cards from multiple banks, but other cards like American Express,” Perry said during the conference. In response to rumors of slow adoption of digital wallet technology, Perry joked that “If the digital wallet isn’t as sexy as my current wallet, then it won’t take off.”

The new features are most likely to appear in Visa’s current app, and will probably become available over the next few months on Android, iOS and Blackberry platforms.

The new features will utilise an NFC chip found in your smartphone, and allow you to tap the phone against a pad to authorise a small payment, or also confirm larger payments that require chip and pin entry as well.

A large NFC trend has been rising recently with Nokia, Samsung and Blackberry foretelling of many new NFC smartphones on the way in the coming months. Visa research has indicated that NFC-enabled mobile device transactions will outpace plastic card transactions within the next 10 years.

Visa’s new back-to-the-roots approach of making their company move towards being a financial technology rather than just a payments company has yielded many interesting results recently, as the company is now seeking to create a system that allows users to send money to each other using only their mobile number.

The new Visa serviced is to be able to offer single-currency payments in Europe, including cross-border transactions. Multiple currency transactions are in the works.

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