Visa and Nokia have taken the wraps off their handset-based payment system. Details of workings are unclear:
The wireless standard that will link mobile phones with payment systems in stores and elsewhere will be the near field communication (NFC) chip, which will be hidden under the phone cover and makes contact when swiped over a reader.
Visa being involved means it is likely to be tied to a classical Visa card, with billing backed into the existing system.
The initial version of the mobile payment platform, which launched on Monday, offers contactless mobile payment, personalization over mobile telephony networks, coupons and direct marketing. Subsequent versions of the platform, to be made available later in the year, will include remote payment--also using mobile telephony networks--and person-to-person payment.
What is perhaps more interesting is that Visa are floating themselves as a public company. This cuts the direct tie with the banks, which in the past owned Visa (and Mastercard). So now, we can expect Visa to be (a) not a bank, and (b) not regulated by the ownership method.
Which will leave Nokia in a more confident position, as it will be Nokia that has the final say on what goes on its phones.
It's yet more evidence that the payment function is gradually moving out of the banks' sphere of influence, alongside the exploding retail gift card issuance and the slow recovery of interest in net-based payment systems.Posted by iang at January 18, 2007 10:28 AM | TrackBack