With two weeks to go until the launch of BlackBerry 10, Research-in-Motion (RIMM) says Visa has approved its mobile payments solution. RIM’s solution securely manages credit card information stored on SIM cards in NFC-enabled BlackBerry, Android and Windows smartphones. It will give carriers who want to support mobile payments with Visa a new option.
In the United States, three of the four biggest carriers already have a mobile payments platform in place through Isis, the joint venture formed by Verizon Wireless, AT&T and T-Mobile USA. So far, Isis has launched in only two cities, Austin and Salt Lake City, but the companies plan a more extensive rollout this year.
Worldwide, more than 25% of the smartphones shipping this year are expected to include NFC chips. The latest mobile payments research from Forrester predicts that mobile payments will hit $90 billion by 2017, fueled largely by in-store payments (proximity payments.)
RIM’s mobile payments solution is a natural extension of the company’s expertise in mobile security. It is also a way for the troubled firm to diversify beyond handsets and tablets. Like RIM’s Blackberry Mobile Fusion, the secure element manager supports platforms other than BlackBerry, giving RIM a revenue source that is not entirely dependent on sales of BlackBerry devices.
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