Samsung and Visa pull the starting trigger on Olympic payment collaboration

Well, it's been no secret that Samsung was hoping to cash in on this summer's Olympic fever. In fact, we all but knew its latest and greatest smartphone was going to be the handset-maker's Olympic Games Phone. Today, however, the union has been made official via an announcement with Visa. Trialists and Athletes sponsored by the brands will have access to a special edition "showcase device" with Visa's payWave payment application onboard. The collaboration is, of course, a drive to push the penetration of contactless payments in both the UK and the world stage. Payments under £20 won't need a passcode, and users will also be able to check their balance and purchase history from the app. It's estimated there'll be about 140,000 contactless terminals in the country by the time the Olympic tanks roll in, so plenty of places to pick up that official merch for the family back home.

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Samsung and Visa Showcase Mobile Payments at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games

NFC technology takes a leap forward in the form of the Samsung GALAXY S III with Visa mobile contactless payments

LONDON & SEOUL & NEW ORLEANS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Samsung Electronics and Visa today announced that the Samsung GALAXY S III, the latest in smartphone innovation, will be Samsung's Olympic Games Phone during the London 2012 Games.

"The GALAXY S III with NFC technology is part of an evolution that will entirely change the way people shop, pay and get paid all over the world"

A limited edition showcase device enabled with Visa's mobile payment application, Visa payWave, will be available for Samsung and Visa sponsored athletes and trialists, making it possible to buy merchandise with a wave of the device at thousands of retail locations throughout London.

Samsung's Olympic Games phone for the London 2012 Games, comes equipped with Near Field Communication (NFC) payment capability and is the next step in the partnership between the two global Olympic Games sponsors as they work together to drive the availability of commercial mobile payments around the world.

"Mobile payment services enabled by NFC technology are gaining momentum around the world. The Samsung GALAXY S III has been created with our human needs and capabilities in mind and is the ideal device to showcase the ease and convenience of Visa's mobile payment application at the London 2012 Olympic Games," said DJ Lee, Executive Vice President and Head of Sales and Marketing team of Samsung's Mobile Communications Business.

By the time of the Olympic Games there will be more than 140,000 contactless terminals around the UK. From the moment visitors land at Heathrow they will be immersed in a contactless payment experience with everything from taxis, to retail outlets, to the Olympic Park itself.

Sandra Alzetta, Senior Vice President of Mobile at Visa Europe says: "Mobile technology has long been a revolutionary force in our lives and NFC-enabled devices such as the Galaxy S III will fundamentally change the way we pay. The future is mobile and cash usage will only continue to decline as people use their mobile devices to manage their money, shop and pay. This summer our partnership with Samsung will showcase all the advantages of the future of payments: security, convenience, speed and flexibility being forefront among them."

"The GALAXY S III with NFC technology is part of an evolution that will entirely change the way people shop, pay and get paid all over the world," said Bill Gajda, Global Head of Mobile Products at Visa Inc. "This summer we will be demonstrating the future of payments in London – a future where most consumers will rely on mobile devices, tablets and PCs to manage their daily financial lives. Our relationship with Samsung gets us closer to that vision, with a stunning new device that is sure to turn heads at the London 2012 Games."

The showcase device is supported and enabled by London 2012 Games partner Lloyds TSB in the UK.

Mike Regnier, Personal Current Accounts & Credit Cards Director, Lloyds TSB, says: "Mobile payments are set to transform the payment process around the world, and will revolutionise the way people pay in the run up to, during, and beyond the London 2012 Games. We are delighted to be working with Visa to showcase the flexibility and convenience of this new technology at the world's biggest sporting event, and excited to see the Samsung Galaxy S III in action."

Visa payWave for mobile allows users to simply select the Visa icon on their mobile device and hold the phone to a contactless payment terminal to pay. Purchases above £20 require a passcode. The application also allows customers to check their transaction history and view their account balance.