Visa and DeviceFidelity Launch micro-SD Mobile Payments

David Murphy

Visa Europe is to launch Europe’s first microSD-based mobile payment systems in Turkey with its technology partner, DeviceFidelity, and Akbank, one of Turkey’s leading retail banks. Using DeviceFidelity’s In2Pay microSD technology, coupled with Visa’s contactless technology, Akbank customers will benefit from the convenience and ease of mobile payments.

The companies say the project will demonstrate how the microSD memory card slot common to many of today’s handsets can bring mobile payments solutions to more consumers. Given that a relatively low number of mobile devices presently offer integrated Near Field Communications (NFC) technologies, the solution allows current mobile devices to gain contactless mobile payment features, and thus embraces all mobile operators and a vast majority of smartphones currently in use in the market.

Given the millions of smartphones offering microSD support, the In2Pay solution combined with Visa’s contactless technology allows mobile operators, financial institutions and transit authorities to deploy their mobile financial offerings across a wide variety of popular smartphone devices.

"One of the key challenges to the success of mobile payments is the supply and availability of NFC handsets,” says Mary Carol Harris, head of mobile for Visa Europe. “Until a majority of mobile handsets offered in the market are supplied with integrated NFC, Visa is proactively working with innovators like DeviceFidelity and pioneers such as Akbank to harness the potential of new technologies. These solutions make the future of payment real today and are key to accelerating mobile payments in Turkey and across Europe."

The project will start with a number of Blackberry handsets popular with Akbank’s customer base and will expand over time to include an array of devices from manufacturers including HTC, Samsung, LG, Nokia and Motorola. In addition to offering mobile payments functionality, the In2Pay microSD will also continue to offer digital storage for music, videos and photos.

The DeviceFidelity In2Pay solution is based on an industry-standard Secure Element that is EMV (the global standard for credit and debit payment cards based on chip card technology) and Global Platform compliant. It also supports Javacard and MiFare and comes with Open Platform architecture for seamless integration with Trusted Service Managers (TSM) and Wallet developers. The In2Pay microSD can also be personalized in high volume by traditional smartcard personalization bureaux using established, bank-approved secure processes. DeviceFidelity has already started licensing the In2Pay APIs to several European TSM providers, and banking software developers, with the intention of rolling out creative new mobile commerce applications.