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Visa and Samsung reveal Olympics NFC payments plans

The payments network and the phone maker will be issuing limited edition Samsung Galaxy S III handsets loaded with a Visa NFC payments app to athletes and other VIPs during the London 2012 Games.

London 2012 Olympic Games

OLYMPIC PHONE: Athletes will try out Samsung's Galaxy S III with Visa's Paywave NFC payments

A limited edition version of the Samsung Galaxy S III, loaded with Visa‘s PayWave mobile payment application, is to be made available to Samsung- and Visa-sponsored athletes and trialists as well as other VIP visitors during the London 2012 Games.

“From the moment visitors land at Heathrow they will be immersed in a contactless payment experience with everything from taxis, to retail outlets, to the Olympic Park itself,” says Visa, adding that it expects there to be more than 140,000 contactless terminals in the UK by the time the Olympic Games start on 27 July.

The athletes will be able to “buy merchandise with a wave of the device at thousands of retail locations throughout London,” the partners say. The PayWave application will allow users to simply select the Visa icon on their device’s screen and then hold the phone to a contactless payment terminal to pay for a purchase. Payments above £20 (US$32) require entry of PIN as an additional security layer. The app will also allow customers to check their transaction history and see their account balance.

“NFC-enabled devices such as the Galaxy S III will fundamentally change the way we pay,” says Sandra Alzetta, senior vice president of mobile at Visa Europe. “The future is mobile and cash usage will only continue to decline as people use their mobile devices to manage their money, shop and pay. This summer our partnership with Samsung will showcase all the advantages of the future of payments: security, convenience, speed and flexibility being forefront among them.”

“Mobile payment services enabled by NFC technology are gaining momentum around the world,” adds Samsung executive vice president DJ Lee. “The Samsung Galaxy S III has been created with our human needs and capabilities in mind and is the ideal device to showcase the ease and convenience of Visa’s mobile payment application at the London 2012 Olympic Games.”

Olympic Games partner Lloyds TSB will provide the underlying bank facilities for the project.

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