Visa is to showcase a new mobile phone payment system at the London Olympics this year, the payment firm has announced.
The company has partnered with South Korean electronics firm Samsung to launch a limited edition version of Samsung’s new smartphone – the Galaxy S3.
The Galaxy S3 was launched at an event in London last week and is due to go on sale in the coming months. As Samsung is an official partner of the Olympic Games, the Galaxy S3 has been designated as the official phone of the Games.
In addition, a limited edition version of the Galaxy S3 will be launched for the Olympics, which will be enabled with Visa’s mobile payment application payWave.
The two companies have said that the special edition phones will be able to be used at payment points throughout London.
It is estimated that there will be around 140,000 mobile payment points throughout the city by the time the Olympic Games starts – in taxis, some shops, and the Olympic Park.
“Mobile payment services enabled by NFC technology are gaining momentum around the world,” said DJ Lee, Executive Vice President at Samsung’s Mobile Communications Business.
“The Samsung Galaxy S3 is the ideal device to showcase the ease and convenience of Visa’s mobile payment application at the London 2012 Olympic Games.”
Both Samsung and Visa are keen to encourage consumers around the world to use NFC-enabled devices to make contactless payments, and have said that they see the Olympics as the ideal event to showcase the payment technology.
“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,” said Sandra Alzetta, Senior Vice President of Mobile at Visa Europe.
“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.”
Recent figures show that annual global figures of NFC-enabled devices stood at 30 million units in 2011, with this figure rising to 700 million by 2016.
Around 20 countries are due to launch NFC services in the next 18 months, which could mean that contactless transactions could top $50 billion worldwide by 2014.
“Mobile payments are set to transform the payment process around the world, and will revolutionise the way people pay in the run up to, during, and beyond the London 2012 Games,” said Mike Regnier, Personal Current Accounts & Credit Cards Director at Lloyds TSB.