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RIM, Telefonica announce NFC trial, aim to launch mobile wallet next year

Amar Toor, @amartoo

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RIM's NFC campaign is about to roll into Iberia, now that the BlackBerry manufacturer has announced a new partnership with Madrid-based Telefonica. This week, the two companies unveiled plans to begin testing a mobile payment and ID card system across the Spanish capital, in the hopes of launching commercial services next year. The so-called Telefonica Wallet for BlackBerry trial will involve some 350 Telefonica employees and a select group of testers within Madrid, each of whom will be able to make payments, access offices and check bank statements from their BlackBerry handsets. Telefonica's Matthew Key told Reuters that his company chose RIM to participate in the trial primarily because of the security of its BlackBerry platform, stressing the importance of earning enough consumer trust to handle sensitive personal data. No specifics yet on when or where the carrier will launch a full payment system, though Key said that Telefonica's aiming to bring it to a handful of markets in 2012.

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