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RIM diversifies with mobile payments solution

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.

In Canada, RIM recently partnered with three major carriers (Bell Mobility, Rogers Wireless, and TELUS) and with CIBC to enable contactless payments on Canadian handsets that are NFC-enabled.

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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Martha DeGrasse
Martha DeGrasse
Martha DeGrasse is the publisher of Network Builder Reports ( At RCR, Martha authored more than 20 in-depth feature reports and more than 2,400 news articles. She also created the Mobile Minute and the 5 Things to Know Today series. Prior to joining RCR Wireless News, Martha produced business and technology news for CNN and Dow Jones in New York and managed the online editorial group at Hoover’s Online before taking a number of years off to be at home when her children were young. Martha is the board president of Austin's Trinity Center and is a member of the Women's Wireless Leadership Forum.

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