"M-commerce is a strategic priority," says Visa Europe's head of UK and Ireland, "we are working and talking with all the mobile operators and handset manufacturers to develop standards for payment on mobile phones."
Visa Europe is to spend €200 million on R&D for low-value contactless payments by card and mobile device, says Marc O'Brien, Visa Europe's head of UK and Ireland.
The information was revealed by O'Brien during a visit to Dublin to brief Irish banks about the potential of contactless cards and NFC payments.
"Ulster Bank and Halifax now issue Visa Debit cards to their customers," a Visa Europe spokesman told NFC World. "Visa Debit is an innovation path to both contactless and mobile payments. Visa Europe discussed the successful trials it has had with contactless payments in other markets and shared information about them with Irish banks."
A report in Irish tech news publication Silicon Republic provides further details on Visa Europe's strategy and the size of the investment it is willing to make in the contactless and NFC market:
Looking to the future, O'Brien said Visa is hard at work researching and developing new ways for people to pay and one of the areas being given serious consideration is contactless payments via mobile phones using near field communication (NFC).
"For us, m-commerce is a strategic priority and we are working and talking with all the mobile operators and handset manufacturers to develop standards for payment on mobile phones."
O'Brien says Visa spent €800 million over the last five years on R&D, out of which €170 million went into chip and PIN. "We envisage spending a further €200 million on R&D into low-value contactless payments by card and mobile device."
An earlier newspaper report that the Irish banks are looking to implement NFC as early as 2011 has been dismissed, however. "The report was slightly overzealous, there are no confirmed plans to launch NFC mobile payments next year," says the Visa spokesman.