ImageMasterCard is widening the universe of phones that officially support PayPass in a big way, with a new MasterCard PayPass Ready program certifying that devices with NFC will play nicely with its mobile payment system. A total of 17 phones are part of the first wave getting the official A-OK. Some of these are known quantities already using PayPass, like the LG Viper 4G LTE and the Samsung Galaxy Nexus HSPA+, but others are new to the PayPass ways. Among the picks are the HTC One X, Intel's smartphone reference device and the Nokia Lumia 610 NFC. A raft of BlackBerrys and lower-end Samsung Galaxy phones are likewise in the fray. While only a handful of these might ever work with Google Wallet or other US-focused NFC payment methods, you can check out the full roster in the release after the break.

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MasterCard Certifies NFC Phones from HTC, Intel, LG Electronics, Nokia, RIM, Samsung Electronics and Sony

Unveils "MasterCard PayPass Ready" brand mark for device manufacturers

PURCHASE, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--MasterCard Worldwide today announced several near field communications (NFC) enabled smartphones have been certified for use with MasterCard PayPass® technology, providing consumers with devices capable of making fast, secure contactless payments at hundreds of thousands of PayPass merchant locations around the globe. The new MasterCard-certified devices include the BlackBerry® Bold™ 9900 / 9790 and BlackBerry® Curve™ 9360 / 9380, HTC One X, Intel® Smartphone Reference Device, LG Viper™ 4G LTE, LG Optimus Elite, Nokia 603, Nokia Lumia 610 NFC, Samsung Wave Y, Samsung Galaxy mini 2, Samsung Galaxy S Advance, Samsung Galaxy Nexus (GT-i9250), Sony Xperia S, Sony Xperia P and Sony Xperia sola.

MasterCard also unveiled a new brand identifier – "MasterCard PayPass® Ready" – now available to device manufacturers to use with NFC-enabled smartphones that have been tested and certified by MasterCard for use with PayPass technology. The MasterCard PayPass Ready identifier will signify a device is available for commercial deployment of PayPass, and can be included as a sticker on the approved device, and in an approved device's packaging, marketing collateral and advertisements. Nokia and BlackBerry-maker RIM are among the first handset manufacturers committed to supporting this brand mark.

"Nokia is honored that the Nokia Lumia 610 NFC will be one the world's first smartphones to include MasterCard's PayPass Ready brand mark," said Andrea Bacioccola, NFC Lead Program Manager, Nokia. "This sends a clear message to operators, banks and other service providers that Nokia is able to quickly enable their payment services on this smartphone."

"We are pleased to support the MasterCard PayPass Ready brand mark as it provides consumers with a visual confirmation that an NFC-enabled BlackBerry smartphone can easily be enabled with a MasterCard account for tap-and-go payments," said Andrew Bocking, SVP Software Product Management, RIM.

By working closely with standards bodies including EMVCo and the NFC Forum, MasterCard continues to lead the industry in testing and certification processes for mobile payment devices. Devices certified by MasterCard go through a rigorous testing process by a MasterCard-accredited laboratory to ensure devices are functionally reliable and interoperable.

"In the near future, millions of phones will ship with NFC technology embedded within them. The new PayPass Ready identifier will help consumers make informed device purchasing decisions by providing a visual mark that indicates devices are certified to make simple, smart and secure payments via the MasterCard PayPass network," said Mung Ki Woo, group executive, Mobile at MasterCard.