Visa and DeviceFidelity working to bring mobile payment functionality to iPhone

This ain't the first rodeo for Visa and DeviceFidelity, and if we had to guess, we suspect it won't be the last. Just a few short months after teaming up to bring contactless payments to any mobile with a microSD slot, the two are at it again -- this time aiming for the oh-so-tantalizing iPhone market. Reportedly, the tandem is toiling away in an effort to concoct a protective iPhone shell with a secure memory card that hosts Vista's contactless payment app, payWave. As it stands, the product would only function on the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS, leaving upcoming iPhone 4G / HD / Barhopper buyers out in the cold. As with any other payWave-enabled handset, this would allow users to simply tap and go when checking out, a process that our pals over in Japan have had down for centuries now. If all goes well, market trials of the payment-enabled iPhone are set to begin this summer, or approximately six months too late for anyone to seriously care.

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NEW YORK, May 4 -- Visa Inc. and DeviceFidelity, Inc. are working to allow Apple iPhone(TM) users to make payments by simply waving their iPhone in front of a contactless payment terminal. The new technology, developed by DeviceFidelity and certified by Apple, combines a protective iPhone case with a secure memory card that hosts Visa?s contactless payment application, called Visa payWave. The technology will work for both iPhone 3GS and iPhone 3G devices.

iPhone users will be able to make Visa mobile payments in retail stores, at fast food restaurants, in taxis, during sporting events (such as at baseball games), and also make purchases at vending machines that have contactless payment terminals. Thousands of merchants throughout the U.S. have already upgraded their payment terminals to allow consumers to make Visa mobile payments. The technology will also work with a majority of smart phones that have a slot for a memory card. By simply inserting the card into the memory slot on their phone, mobile users can transform their existing mobile phones into a Visa payment device. Visa has already rolled out a similar technology in Malaysia and Japan, where consumers can make mobile payments in stores and restaurants.

The mobile payment application can be password protected and utilizes advanced security technology to uniquely identify each contactless transaction.. In addition, all Visa mobile payments are backed by Visa?s global processing network and analyzed for potential fraud in real-time. If a mobile device is lost or stolen, account holders should contact their issuer, as they would if their card was lost or stolen. The issuer can immediately deactivate the account. Market trials of the payment-enabled iPhone are scheduled to start this summer.