Carriers and banks around the world can now use the BlackBerry Bold 9900 and the BlackBerry Curve 9360 smartphones to deliver MasterCard-approved NFC mobile payments services.
The certification means that MasterCard PayPass-issuing banks anywhere in the world can offer customers the option of adding a PayPass card to the SIM in their phone, safe in the knowledge that the security in the phone has passed MasterCard requirements.
Etisalat subscribers in the United Arab Emirates are due to be amongst the first to use their BlackBerry phones for mobile payments. Services are expected to go live in Dubai before the end of 2011.
France Telecom Orange has also confirmed it will be offering the two BlackBerry phones to subscribers for use in NFC payments services. Orange has commercial NFC projects up and running in the UK and in France and is committed to introducing NFC services in the majority of countries in which it operates.
MasterCard has already certified the Google Nexus S, which uses an embedded secure element rather than an NFC SIM, for mobile payments applications.
"We are happy to offer the BlackBerry Bold 9900 and BlackBerry Curve 9360 as part of the Orange range of mobile NFC devices," said Vincent Barnaud, director of contactless services at France Telecom Orange. "We are committed to actively marketing NFC devices, and these new smartphones will help accelerate the adoption of mobile NFC services secured by an Orange SIM, including mobile payments."
Andrew Bocking, vice president for handheld software product management at RIM, said: "NFC technology is making smartphones even smarter and the MasterCard certification is a significant step forward in helping transform the way we use mobile devices for payments. We are working proactively with our carrier partners, banks, retailers and other industry players and we are excited to push the boundaries of how NFC can enable new mobile experiences for BlackBerry smartphone users around the world."
"MasterCard is proud to be the first to certify these popular BlackBerry smartphones for mobile payments, and offer consumers another simple, easy, safe and convenient way to pay," said Mung Ki Woo at MasterCard Worldwide. "In card payments, MasterCard has long been a leader in the testing and certification of products — for the benefit of customers, issuers, merchants and acquirers.
"We are delighted to extend this leadership role into the mobile payments arena and applaud RIM's efforts to usher in the next phase of NFC adoption by delivering compliant devices to the market," Woo added. "The availability of NFC on popular BlackBerry smartphones is an important milestone for the mobile contactless payments business."