Visa Europe, DeviceFidelity and Akbank announce Europe’s first launch of microSD-based contactless mobile payments

Visa Europe, Europe’s leading payment system, has announced that it is launching Europe’s first microSD-based mobile payment systems in Turkey with its technology partner, DeviceFidelity, and Akbank, one of Turkey’s leading retail banks.

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. Using DeviceFidelity’s In2PayTM microSD technology coupled with Visa’s contactless technology, Akbank customers will benefit from the convenience and ease of mobile payments.

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.

Mary Carol Harris, Head of Mobile, Visa Europe said: “One of the key challenges to the success of mobile payments is the supply and availability of NFC handsets. 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. Once again, Visa, through Akbank and our strategic partners, are leading the mobile payments market.”

Deepak Jain, President and CEO of DeviceFidelity said: “We have always considered the European market to be at the leading edge of NFC innovation. With our relationship with Visa Europe, we intend to truly unlock the potential of NFC mobile payments, by enabling contactless transactions on currently available and upcoming popular user devices in Europe through the use of microSD.”

The project will commence 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, allowing users to take advantage of memory expansion for music, video and photographs.

The DeviceFidelity In2Pay solution is based on an industry standard Secure Element that is EMV and Global Platform compliant, 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 smart card personalization bureaus 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 intent to roll out creative new mobile commerce applications.

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